[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 39 (Wednesday, February 27, 2013)]
[Page 13376]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04549]



National Park Service


Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan/Environmental Impact 
Statement, Shenandoah National Park

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Intent.


SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 and the Council on Environmental Quality 
regulations, the National Park Service (NPS) is preparing a Chronic 
Wasting Disease Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (CWD 
Management Plan/EIS) for Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Action is 
needed at this time prevent the establishment of CWD in the white-
tailed deer population of Shenandoah National Park and, should the 
disease become established, to slow the spread of the disease. To 
ensure that all significant issues are identified and considered, all 
interested parties are invited to comment on the proposed scope of the 
project, the purpose, need, and objectives of the plan, and draft 

DATES: The National Park Service will accept comments from the public 
for a period of 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal 
Register. Public meetings will be held during the review period to 
facilitate the submission of public comment. Once scheduled, the 
meeting dates will be announced on the NPS's Planning Environment and 
Public Comment (PEPC) Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/shen); by 
newsletter posted on the Shenandoah National Park Web page 
(www.nps.gov/shen); and by a press release to the local media.

ADDRESSES: The preferred method of comment is to submit comments 
electronically through the NPS PEPC Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/shen). You may also mail comments to 
Superintendent, Shenandoah National Park, 3655 U.S. Highway 211 East, 
Luray, VA, 22835.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Flanagan, National Park Service, 
Denver Service Center, at (303) 969-2327.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A long-range CWD Management Plan is needed 
at this time because: CWD is established and spreading within the 
region and represents a threat to white-tailed deer, which are an 
important park resource; the risk of CWD introduction and amplification 
is high because of high deer population density in certain areas of the 
park and deer movement in and out of the park; there is no known 
treatment to eliminate CWD once it is established in the population; a 
variety of management options must be considered to limit the 
prevalence and minimize spread; and CWD is a nonnative disease process, 
therefore, NPS policy states that CWD should be managed or eliminated, 
if prudent and feasible.
    To date, Shenandoah National Park has prepared a CWD Detection and 
Assessment Plan and Environmental Assessment which, when completed and 
approved, will guide future actions for detecting and responding to 
initial CWD cases within the park. The next step is to comprehensively 
evaluate alternative approaches for long-term management of CWD, which 
is the purpose of the proposed CWD Management Plan/EIS.
    The objectives of the long-range CWD management plan are to: 
Prevent CWD establishment and, should CWD become established, slow the 
spread of CWD within the park; monitor disease progression and impacts 
on park resources; provide a framework to assess or evaluate the 
success of the management actions and for the NPS to cooperate with 
other state and federal agencies on the management of CWD; develop 
public support for CWD management through education; minimize 
disruption to visitor use and experience from management actions; and 
minimize the potential for health and safety issues for park staff and 
visitors during CWD management activities.
    The NPS has begun development of two action alternatives that will 
be made available for public comment as part of the scoping process. 
The first action alternative proposes a phased approach to CWD 
management and would be implemented when CWD is identified within a 
specified distance from the park. In slight contrast, the second 
alternative would initiate management actions immediately, rather than 
in response to proximity of CWD detection to the boundaries of the 
park. The NPS will also evaluate a no action alternative, under which 
current management approaches would continue, including implementation 
of the approved CWD detection and assessment plan.
    To ensure that all significant issues are identified and 
considered, all interested parties are invited to comment on the 
proposed scope of the project; the purpose, need and objectives of the 
plan; and draft alternatives. These materials will be available for 
review and comment on the NPS PEPC Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/shen) and the park's Web page (www.nps.gov/shen).
    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Dated: November 20, 2012.
Dennis R. Reidenbach,
Regional Director, Northeast Region, National Park Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-04549 Filed 2-26-13; 8:45 am]