Valley Forge National Historical Park has completed development of the Final White-tailed Deer Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The purpose of the plan is to provide a deer management strategy that supports long-term protection, preservation, and restoration of native vegetation and other natural and cultural resources. A second purpose of the plan is to provide appropriate response to chronic wasting disease (CWD).
The plan/EIS has been prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality, the NPS Management Policies (2001), and NPS Director's Order 12: Conservation Planning, Environmental Impact Analysis, and Decision-Making. Through this planning process, the NPS has analyzed a full range of reasonable alternatives and evaluated their impacts on the human environment and ability to achieve the stated plan objectives. The preferred and environmentally preferred alternatives have been identified.
* indicates the current step in the planning process
Step 1. Identify Purpose, Need, and Objectives: Purpose describes what the NPS must accomplish to consider a management strategy a success. Need describes the condition or problem that must be addressed by the plan and answers the question "Why must we take action?" Objectives are specific statements of the plan purpose.
Step 2. Publish Notice of Intent in Federal Register: The Notice of Intent to develop a White-tailed Deer Management Plan was published in the Federal Register on September 7, 2006. This event starts the public scoping period extending 60 days from publication.
Step 3. Conduct external scoping: External scoping provides an opportunity for NPS staff to meet with staff from other state and federal agencies to introduce the project and identify issues.
Step 4. Identify Preliminary Alternatives for Management and Conduct Public Scoping: The NPS must create a full range of deer management alternatives that resolve purpose and need for taking action and meet the specific objectives of the plan. Public scoping provides the public an opportunity to express their views on the purpose, need, context, and preliminary management alternatives related to deer management. Comments from the public will be accepted until December 8, 2006.
Step 5. Analyze and Revise Management Alternatives: Impact analysis predicts the degree to which resources will be affected by each deer management alternative. Based on the results of impact analysis and public comments, deer management alternatives may be eliminated, added, or revised to better meet objectives and resolve resource issues and concerns. At the end of this step a preferred management alternative will be identified.
Step 6. Prepare Draft White-tailed Deer Management Plan/EIS.
Step 7. Internal Agency Review of Draft Plan/EIS.
Step 8. Release of Draft Plan/EIS for 60 Day Public Comment Period.
Step 9. Analyze Public Comments and Prepare Final Plan/EIS. *
Step 10. Record of Decision: The decision on a preferred deer management alternative to be implemented at Valley Forge NHP is made by the NPS Regional Director and documented in the Record of Decision or ROD.