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Public Comment Opportunity Continues for Olympic National Park’s Preliminary Draft Alternatives for Wilderness Stewardship
With a week remaining in a 60-day comment period about Olympic National Park’s Wilderness Stewardship Plan, Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum invites the public to review the preliminary draft documents and provide comments and suggestions.
“We’d like to have as many comments as possible – public input has already helped us identify topics and ideas that people are particularly concerned about and has highlighted areas that need clarification,” said Superintendent Creachbaum. “We look forward to using the input we receive during this comment period to improve the preliminary alternatives and develop the draft plan.”
The park released a set of preliminary draft alternatives for public review and comment on March 11. Six public meetings were held in communities around the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound and about 100 comments have been received so far. A copy of all comments received during the current comment period will be posted on the planning website this summer.
Once this comment period has ended, park staff will begin developing the draft plan, which will include an updated and refined set of draft alternatives, along with full environmental analysis in a draft environmental impact statement (EIS.)
“The draft wilderness stewardship plan and EIS will be ready for public review and comment next spring,” said Creachbaum. Public meetings will be held and public comments will again be invited.
This planning process applies only to lands within Olympic National Park. The goal of the plan is to protect the Olympic Wilderness and its unique wilderness character and provide for the public purposes of wilderness which are recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation and historical use.
The preliminary draft alternatives and maps, along with extensive background information and a copy of all the public comments submitted during last year’s public scoping period, can be reviewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/olymwild. Comments should be submitted at that website by May 17, 2014.
Public comments may also be mailed or delivered by May 17, 2014 to:
Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum
Attn: Wilderness Stewardship Plan
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Ninety-five percent of Olympic National Park was designated as wilderness in 1988, and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Wilderness Act of 1964 established the National Wilderness Preservation System and established a policy for the protection of wilderness resources for public use and enjoyment.