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Final Environmental Impact Statement Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan for Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Final Environmental Impact Statement Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan for Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina

Ed Buskirk
Department of the Interior
8 December 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 236 (Thursday, December 8, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Page 88702]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29426]



[[Page 88702]]

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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Park Service

[NPS-SER-CALO-22427; PPSESEROC3, PPMPSASIY.YP0000]


Final Environmental Impact Statement Off-Road Vehicle Management 
Plan for Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of 
the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Off-Road Vehicle 
(ORV) Management Plan (Plan), Cape Lookout National Seashore 
(Seashore), North Carolina.

DATES: The NPS will execute the Record of Decision (ROD) no sooner than 
30 days following publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of 
its Notice of Availability of the Final EIS in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the Plan/Final EIS will be available 
for public review at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/calo. A limited number 
of hard copies will be available at Park Headquarters, 131 Charles St., 
Harkers Island, North Carolina 28531.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Kenney, Superintendent, Cape 
Lookout National Seashore,131 Charles St., Harkers Island, North 
Carolina 28531; phone 252-728-2250 extension 3014.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C 4332(2)(C), the Plan/Final EIS evaluates 
the impacts of four alternatives for designation of ORV routes and 
resource management, as well as one alternative that would prohibit ORV 
use, described as follows:
Alternative A
 the no action alternative
 continues current levels of ORV use with no numerical limit
 continues species management measures from the Seashore's 
Interim Species Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (EA)
Alternative B
 designates specific ORV routes and areas similar to 
alternative A
 establishes vehicle permits with no numerical limit
 continues species management measures from the Seashore's 
Interim Species Management Plan/EA
 establishes seasonal night driving restrictions
 phases out high-performance sport model and two stroke all-
terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility vehicles (UTVs)
 creates an adaptive management strategy
Alternative C
 the NPS preferred alternative
 designates specific ORV routes and areas
 creates additional pedestrian-only areas
 establishes a vehicle permit program that would maintain ORV 
use at their highest current levels of 6200 vehicles per year
 phases out high-performance sport model and two stroke ATVs 
and UTVs
 continues species management measures from the Seashore's 
Interim Species Management Plan/EA
 establishes seasonal night driving restrictions on the beach 
with slightly expanded hours on the back route from 5am to 6am and 9pm 
to 10pm
 creates an adaptive management strategy
Alternative D
 designates specific ORV routes and areas
 creates additional pedestrian-only areas compared to 
alternative C
 establishes a vehicle permit program that would maintain ORV 
use at average current levels, based on 5500 vehicles per year, minus 
8% to reflect additional closure areas
 phases out all ATVs while allowing non-sport UTVs with 
seasonal use restrictions
 continues species management measures from the Seashore's 
Interim Species Management Plan/EA while increasing some resource 
buffers
 establishes seasonal night driving restrictions
 creates an adaptive management strategy
Alternative E
 prohibits private, recreational ORV use
 continuation of species protection measures as appropriate

    Executive Order 11644, issued in 1972 and amended by Executive 
Order 11989 in 1977, states that Federal agencies allowing ORV use must 
designate the specific areas and trails on public lands on which the 
use of ORVs may be permitted, and areas in which the use of ORVs may 
not be permitted. NPS policy requires that areas and trails that are 
designated for ORV use must be established based upon the protection of 
the resources of the public lands, promotion of the safety of all users 
of those lands, and minimization of conflicts among the various uses of 
those lands. 36 CFR 4.10 requires that ``Routes and areas designated 
for off-road motor vehicle use shall be promulgated as special 
regulations.'' In addition, such routes and areas may only be 
designated in national recreation areas, national seashores, national 
lakeshores and national preserves.
    The Final EIS responds to, and incorporates, agency and public 
comments received on the Draft EIS, including comments on night driving 
restrictions, vehicle permit durations and numerical limits, 
pedestrian-only areas, species management and closures, infrastructure 
improvements to the back route, and consistency of closure dates. The 
Draft EIS was available for public review and comment for 60 days from 
May 23, 2014, through July 21, 2014, then extended another 60 days to 
September 19, 2014. During the comment period, 1,146 pieces of 
correspondence were received; 268 of these were form letters. In total, 
2,423 comments were received. Alternative E is the environmentally 
preferable alternative and alternative C is the NPS preferred 
alternative.

    Dated: November 30, 2016.
Ed Buskirk,
Associate Regional Director, Administration, Southeast Region.
[FR Doc. 2016-29426 Filed 12-7-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4312-52-P

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