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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Public Comment Sought On Proposed New Facilities At Timpanogos Cave


Timpanogos Cave National Monument is considering building a new visitor center and making other improvements, and is also evaluating ways to deal with increased traffic on Hwy 92 in American Fork Canyon.

The Park Service provided the news release below.

Timpanogos Cave National Monument Seeks Public Comment on Environmental Assessment

The National Park Service (NPS) is soliciting public comment on the Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the construction of a new visitor facility at the cave trailhead of Timpanogos Cave National Monument as well as the construction of an interagency center in conjunction with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Pleasant Grove Ranger District (PGRD) at the mouth of American Fork Canyon. The public, organizations, and other agencies are invited to review and comment on the EA.

The purpose of this project is to improve visitor and employee safety along state route 92 and from rockfall and flood hazards. Provide for visitor enjoyment and education; and provide new efficient facilities for the Monument and PGRD.

The EA evaluates five alternatives and the potential impacts of each: 1) Alternative A, the No Action Alternative; 2) Alternative B, to implement a mandatory shuttle system between the interagency visitor center the visitor contact station at the Monument cave trailhead; 3) Alternative C, to implement a shuttle system on weekends and holidays between the interagency visitor and the visitor contact station as well as reconfigure visitor parking at the cave trailhead; 4) Alternative D (the Preferred Alternative), to realign State highway 92 and reconfigure the cave trailhead site for safety; and 5) Alternative E, reconfigure parking at the cave trailhead and provide concession operations at Swinging Bridge Picnic Area. Elements common to all action alternatives include the construction of a visitor contact station without concession operations at the cave trailhead, construction of the interagency visitor center in Highland City, safety improvements, reassigning facilities for administrative and staff operations, and enhancing a cave tour ticket reservation system.
The EA has been prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations (40 CFR 1500 et seq), and NPS Director's Order 12: Conservation Planning, Environmental Impact Analysis, and Decision-making (DO-12).

The 30-day review and comment period starts June 15, and continues through July 15, 2012. To see the EA, http://parkplanning.nps.gov/tica or visit the Monument administrative office, Visitor Center, or the offices of the US Forest Service Pleasant Grove or Provo during the comment period. An open-house will be held at the Monument Visitor Center on July 2, 2012 from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm to answer questions regarding the EA.

Written comments may be submitted on the PEPC website or may be sent to:

Superintendent
Timpanogos Cave National Monument
RR 3, Box 200
American Fork, UT 84003

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