As you know the park has begun a Visitor Use Management (VUM) Plan in order to address the issue of increasing visitation in the park. This planning process will help park managers identify strategies that will allow visitors a safe and enjoyable experience while protecting the park’s fundamental resources and values.
The park has just concluded the public scoping component of the planning process. We held 6 public meetings and a WebEx where the public had the opportunity to share their ideas with park staff. Over 300 people attend the public meetings and the WebEx. We also received comments through the National Park Service (NPS) planning website, through email, and the U.S. mail. We received over 900 comments from over 460 individuals. Comments came from 23 states in the U.S. and from Japan.
We are currently reviewing all of the comments in search of any new ideas or plan alternatives that can be incorporated into the management plan. Once we have completed this task the comment summary will be available on the NPS website at parkplanning.nps.gov/zion.
We are also beginning to formulate preliminary alternatives. In a planning context alternatives represent different means of solving a problem and meeting the goals identified in the purpose and need for the action. Once we have identified preliminary alternatives that meet the purpose and need for the plan they will go out for public review and comment. It is anticipated that this will occur in summer 2017.
In the meantime stay informed of progress on the VUM plan through periodic information releases or by visiting parkplanning.nps.gov/zion. We look forward to your continued assistance through this process.