The National Park Service has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to update and repair many of the overlooks and trails located along the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. NPS Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica approved the FONSI on September 24, 2015 based on the Environmental Assessment (EA) recommended by Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk in mid-August. The Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office concurred with the finding that historic and cultural resources in the area will not be adversely affected by the undertaking as planned.
The approved action will address aging and deteriorating infrastructure, provide improved accessibility to visitors, improve pedestrian flow, address safety issues, and improve the visitor experience in the area, all while retaining the historic integrity of this extraordinary portion of the park. Areas to be addressed in the plan include: the Brink of the Upper Falls, the Brink of Lower Falls, Uncle Tom's, Inspiration Point, Red Rocks Point, Crystal Falls, and their associated connecting trails.
With the EA and associated compliance completed, improvements to the overlooks, trails, and some associated parking for the first phase is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016. Construction would occur in at least two phases with the first phase including Inspiration Point, the Brink of the Upper Falls, and Uncle Tom's Point dependent upon available funding.
Copies of the EA and the FONSI, and more information about this project, are available on the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website, www.parkplanning.nps.gov/CanyonOverlooks, or by writing to: Compliance Office, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.