Thursday, April 21, 2011

EA for Concessioner Facility Instruction in Denali Available for Public Comment

The American Alpine Institute just received the following email from Denali National Park:

An Environmental Assessment (EA) for construction of new concessioner support facilities in the entrance area of Denali National Park is now available for public review and comment, announced Park Superintendent Paul R. Anderson. The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing to construct new permanent facilities on the Concession Land Assignment that would support the park’s current and future bus operations and services concession. The proposed new facilities include:

Maintenance shop and covered storage area for the carpenter, plumber and electrician maintenance functions, replacing the current ATCO and trailer.  Recycling center building to provide a centralized collection and processing facility for concessions and park recycled waste materials. Commissary to support food storage and assembly of the meals and beverages provided on the tour buses, and additional food storage for the employee dining room and Morino Grill. 

The project is necessary because the existing facilities are inadequately sized, dilapidated, and/or inappropriate for their functions.

The Concessions Land Assignment (CLA) is Park allocated land and facilities assigned to the concessionaire, presently Joint Venture, Incorporated, to carry out and support visitor services within the park. The CLA’s main purpose is to support/facilitate bus fleet operations and maintenance in the park. Additional buildings on the CLA include housing, dining, and recreation facilities that support concession employees. The concessionaire is required to carry out a building and utilities maintenance operation for the land assignment facilities and other directed services throughout the park.

The improvements to the concessioner facilities are based on the park’s 2001 Environmental Assessment for Construction of New Visitor Facilities in the Entrance Area of Denali National Park (2001 EA). The 2001 EA evaluated disturbing "...13 acres of mixed white spruce and  hardwood forest [aspen]vegetation and soil ...during construction of new  access roads, visitor facilities, and concessionaire facilities in the  entrance area." Approximately 11 acres of park land have been disturbed for this purpose, and this project would remove approximately 0.7 acres of forest. These structures were not specified in the 2001 EA, but are part of the general upgrades in support of the new entrance area visitor facilities.

The NPS has published an EA for this project titled “EA for Concession Facilities Construction.”  It will be available at the NPS planning web site at on Friday, April 22. The EA analyzes the impacts of the proposed action and the no-action alternative. It was completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).

Comments on the EA may be submitted through May 22, 2011, preferably via the web site at Alternately, comments may be mailed to: Steve Carwile, DENA Compliance Project Manager, NPS Alaska Regional Office, 240 West 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501; Fax: (907) 644-3803; Email:

If you have any questions about the EA or need paper copies, please call project manager Erik Hendrickson at (907) 683-9578 or Steve Carwile at (907) 644-3612.

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