Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Grand Teton Releases Historic Properties Management Plan for Public Review and Comment

The public is invited to review and comment on the Historic Properties Management Plan /Environmental Assessment (HPMP/EA) that evaluates present conditions and future uses for the 44 historic properties located within Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. The HPMP/EA public comment period runs from January 5, 2016 through February 17, 2016. The public is also invited to meet with park staff regarding the plan at an open house on January 19, 2016, at St. John's Episcopal Church Hansen Hall, 168 North Glenwood Street in Jackson, WY, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The park and parkway contain 695 cultural resources listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places. Individual resources may be historic sites, buildings, structures, or objects. As these resources are found in 44 discrete locations they are referred to in the plan as "historic properties." The purpose of the HPMP/EA is to define management direction for these historic properties. Its proposals would improve cultural resource preservation; initiate appropriate uses that support park operations; protect human health and safety; improve visitor enjoyment and access;and emphasize proactive rather than reactive stewardship.

The HPMP/EA evaluates three alternatives: a no-action and two action alternatives. The no-action alternative describes existing management. The action alternatives focus on the future of 11 properties that are currently unused or underused. Properties currently in use—such as the lodges at Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake and the cabins at Highlands and Lupine Meadows—were reassessed and will continue to be used as they are today. Modifications to previously approved plans for Mormon Row and White Grass Dude Ranch are also presented.

Alternative B (the NPS preferred alternative) proposes to focus funding on rehabilitating up to four properties for adaptive reuse, while improving care for most of the other properties. The properties for adaptive reuse are 4 Lazy F Dude Ranch, the former Snake River Land Company Office, the historic park headquarters at Beaver Creek, and Mormon Row. Alternative B also recommends removal of three properties that have low cultural significance, poor access in terms of proximity to a park operations base or visitor services area, and limited potential for use. Those properties are Aspen Ridge Ranch, the McCollister Residence, and Sky Ranch.

Alternative C would continue to care for most properties as well or better than they are now but, in order to retain all historic properties, the park would spread its future preservation efforts more thinly across the underused properties.

The HPMP/EA can be found at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/hpmp. Comments can be made on the website, hand delivered to park headquarters in Moose, Wyoming, or mailed to: HPMP Planning Team, Grand Teton National Park, PO Box 170, Moose, WY 83012. Anyone choosing to submit a comment is advised that their name, hometown, and the content of their comments could be made public at any time in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.



Jeff
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