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Environmental Assessment on climbing allocation for Mount McKinley

by KTNA Staff ~ September 14th, 2011

An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the allocation of climbing permits

between commercial guided climbing operators and independent, non-guided

climbers on Mount McKinley is now available for public review and comment,

announced Superintendent Paul R. Anderson.

The 2006 Backcountry Management Plan allocated 25% of the permits for

commercially guided groups.  The National Park Service (NPS) is considering

an  adjustment to the number of permits allocated to guided climbing

operators. Concessioner guided climbs are a longstanding tradition in the

park, and there is an increasing demand for guided climbs. The NPS must

determine if this demand can be accommodated, while assuring that

independent climbers are not displaced, and that wilderness resource

values, visitor experience, and other park resources are protected.

The Backcountry Management Plan also established a seasonal (April 1 to

August 1) limit of 1500 permitted climbers for Mount McKinley. The limit of

1500 permits is not being reviewed in this planning effort.

The NPS has developed a range of alternatives to be considered:

·  Alternative 1 is a no action alternative which would enforce the annual

limit of 25% (375) of 1500 climbers for commercially guided climbing set

by the Backcountry Management Plan.

·  Alternative 2 guarantees commercially guided climbing of 25% (375) of

1500 climbers , and also allows commercially guided  climbing to utilize

any remaining unused permits up to 50% (750) of 1500 climbers, providing

no independent climbers are displaced.

·  Alternative 3 guarantees commercially guided climbing of 25% (375)

of1500 climbers, and  also allows commercially guided climbing to

utilize any remaining unused permits providing no independent climbers

are displaced.

The NPS has published an EA for this issue entitled “Climbing Allocation

for Mount McKinley.” It is available at the NPS planning website at

http://parkplanning.nps.gov.

The EA analyzes the impacts of the proposed alternatives  and the no action

alternative. It was completed in accordance with the National Environmental

Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental

Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).

Comments on the EA may be submitted through October 15, 2011, preferably

via the website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Comments may also be faxed

to (907) 683-9612, or mailed to the address below:

Superintendent

Denali National Park and Preserve

ATTN:  Climbing Allocation EA

P.O. Box 9

Denali Park, AK  99755

For questions about the EA, or if you need a hard copy, please contact

Paula Homan, Project Planning Lead, at (907) 683-6223 or

paula_homan [at] nps [dot] gov or Martha Armington, Project Lead, at (907) 683-9529 or

martha_armington [at] nps [dot] gov.

- NPS -

Experience Your America

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American

people so that all may experience our heritage.

___________________________________________

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