Members of the public can participate in a webinar on Monday, February 8, to voice their opinions on the National Park Service’s proposed revisions to the Grand Canyon’s Backcountry Management Plan (BMP). In addition, the public is invited to attend an in-person open house on this issue in Phoenix on Wednesday, February 10.
The Grand Canyon’s backcountry covers more than 1.1 million acres. Most of this area has been proposed for wilderness designation. The revised BMP establishes an updated plan to address current issues regarding the Grand Canyon’s backcountry and wilderness areas, providing an adaptable framework that will preserve these areas and maintain the public’s ability to experience and enjoy them. The current BMP, developed in 1988, requires periodic revisions to comply with NPS policies and the Grand Canyon’s General Management Plan.
The NPS began developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the new plan in 2011, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The BMP DEIS evaluates four alternative plans, including three different action plans and one no-action plan.
The NPS values public participation and comment as important aspects of its planning process. In the initial phases of development of the DEIS for the new Grand Canyon plan, two public open houses were held in December 2015, and more than 580 public comments were submitted.
Both the webinar and open house in February will begin with a presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session. At the open house, park staff and managers will be available to talk with the public.
Meeting and Comment Details
The webinar is open from 4:00 to 5:00 pm (Mountain Standard Time) on February 8 at: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php? i=PW6793678&p=3135573&t=c. Audio is available at 1-800-779-4694, with the passcode of 3135573.
The open house will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on February 10 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 2577 West Greenway Road, in Phoenix.
Comments can be submitted at the open house; on the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website; or via the U.S. Postal Service. The NPS prefers that comments be submitted through the PEPC database, at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkID=65&CFID=27997605&CFTOKEN=299871696fab685b-BE67D240-0D99-03EE-CCD794B2A1600F87. Click on “Backcountry Management Plan” in the project list, or click on “Open for Comments” on the toolbar at the left and then the Environmental Impact Statement link.
Comments sent through the mail should be addressed to: Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, Attn: Backcountry Management Plan, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.
The public comment period is open until March 4. Additional information will be posted on the PEPC website as it becomes available.