Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park’s Acting Superintendent,Jane Lyder, announced today that a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and revised Backcountry Management Plan has been published in the Federal Register. This announcement begins the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process of identifying, analyzing and disclosing the potential impacts of actions that could be taken to manage Grand Canyon’s extensive backcountry resources.
The park’s existing Backcountry Management Plan (BMP) was completed in 1988 and needs to be updated in order to comply with current National Park Service (NPS) laws and policies and the park’s 1995 General Management Plan. Development of a revised plan provides an opportunity to look at alternative management strategies for protecting park resources and values while providing for a variety of visitor experiences within the backcountry. The EIS will describe the relationship of the BMP to other plans and NEPA documents, such as the Colorado River Management Plan, Mule Operations and Stock Use Plan, Fire Management Plan, and the Draft EIS for Special Flight Rules.
One of the first steps in the development of an EIS is public scoping. Scoping is an opportunity for the public to provide early ideas about a plan and the alternatives that should be considered, thus defining the “scope” of the plan. The NPS is currently in the scoping phase of the EIS for Grand Canyon’s BMP.