An environmental assessment will be prepared in coming months, looking at subjects including vehicle circulation, congestion, and parking; pedestrian safety; signage, and vegetation challenges; all while preserving the historic nature of the area. It’s a tricky issue: everyone wants to drive through the historic Roosevelt Arch and take their picture standing beside it, but it wasn’t built to accommodate today’s modern camper and SUV culture. In addition, the smaller admission stand is a bottleneck as well, with only one lane set up for paying customers.
Under the National Environmental Policy Act, the first step in the process is to solicit public suggestions and comments during what is known as the scoping period. Any interested individual, organization, or agency can provide thoughtful, relevant information or suggestions for consideration by the National Park Service before the environmental assessment is prepared and made available for public review and comment.
Individuals, groups, and agencies have from May 19 to June 18, 2010, to submit written comments on the purpose, need and objectives, and the issues and alternatives they would like considered in the new plan.
In addition, the park is holding an open house on Tuesday, June 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Yellowstone Association building at 308 Park Street in Gardiner, Montana. This meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the issue so they can provide comments which will be analyzed and used in preparation of the environmental assessment.
Additional details on the proposal and an electronic form to submit comments on the internet can be found at the National Park Service’s Planning, Environmental and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell, or by writing the North Entrance/Park Street Improvement Plan Team, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
Written comments may be submitted through the PEPC website, in person, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted over the phone, by fax, or e-mail. All public comments must be received or postmarked by midnight, June 18, 2010.