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SEKI - Comment Period - Wilderness Stewardship Plan -

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Re: SEKI - Comment Period - Wilderness Stewardship Plan -

Postby oldranger » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:53 am

George wrote:

It's good to have trailhead numbers but current and projected use levels just don't, to me, justify the sometimes draconian sounding numbers they propose nor the headers of the alternatives. The several other comments sent me from NPS friends seem to agree with this, so maybe there's hope they'll rethink this.


Remember these are preliminary draft alternatives just used in scoping (getting feedback from public). The Draft EIS will include a Purpose and Need and Affected Environment. The need portion must clearly state the issues and the Affected Environment should provide the data to substantiate that the issues are real. Failure to do so would constitute a fatal flaw in the courts. The alternatives then will be tweaked (my guess is significantly from what we have seen) to address the Issues described under "Need." Finally the "Enviornmental Consequences" of the alternatives must be described and these include not only consequences on the "environment of the wilderness" but also on the "users." Because the mechanism for developing the plan is an EIS an alternative that has impacts that can be considered "bad" can be chosen if the decision maker considers the negative stuff necessary to achieve an overall best choice. For example a certain amount of impacts of overall use may be acceptable close to trailheads (for example lack of Solitude) in order to provide reasonable access to more distant destinations.

Anyhow I would not be surprised if we are 2 years away from a draft EIS (which will provide another comment period and 4 to 5 years from now for the Final (another opportunity to provide imput and a time at which imput must be made by individuals and organizations if they might be willing to go to court to change a decision). You can't enter the "game" or cause "overtime" unless you participate in the process to establish "status."

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!



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Re: SEKI - Comment Period - Wilderness Stewardship Plan -

Postby gdurkee » Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:44 pm

Mike: good overview!

Anyhow I would not be surprised if we are 2 years away from a draft EIS (which will provide another comment period and 4 to 5 years from now for the Final


That was my thinking when this whole thing started, but they're under Congressional mandate to finish by 2014. An interesting way to legislate (likely) bad planning.
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Re: SEKI - Comment Period - Wilderness Stewardship Plan -

Postby oldranger » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:37 pm

George wrote
That was my thinking when this whole thing started, but they're under Congressional mandate to finish by 2014. An interesting way to legislate (likely) bad planning.


Having experienced other congressional mandates for plans by a certain date I can tell you that the complexities of NEPA (National Envionmental Policy Act--an act of Congress) plus subsequent Court Rulings makes the mandated date irrelevant. Ultimately if NEPA were not followed it would be easy to get a Court Ruling to go back to the drawing board without even having to question the substance of the plan. Fortunately Congress does not control the Courts (as I understand the concept of separation of Powers). As much as the NPS might like to cite the 2014 date it really is not possible to meet that date--(I don't want to bore you with all the necessary steps that need to be taken--the most critical are to ensure that the Public has a chance to comment and that those comments are addressed).

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Re: SEKI - Comment Period - Wilderness Stewardship Plan -

Postby gdurkee » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:01 pm

I wondered about that in the original Act vs. court. Can Congress interfere with an active court case? I didn't think they could but never followed up with anyone at HSHA to explain what the court said.

And then ordering a complex process to take place in X time. Well, they do stuff like that all the time but, as you say, it probably is meaningless. I also wonder if what I think of as a moderate mess of a first draft of alternatives reflects the haste & pressure being applied.
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