In 2020, the NPS invited public comments and held public and agency meetings on the preliminary findings and management concepts included in Newsletter #2. Representatives from the CNMI governor's office, legislature, and agencies, and the Rota Mayor's office participated. Roughly 100 people attended the online public meetings. The CNMI Indigenous Affairs Office also arranged in-person and online meetings on Rota.
Currently the NPS is reviewing the public comments and assessing how they will affect the components of the study. It will be some time before the study is finalized, as the NPS considers the comments and questions and determines what additional data and discussions are needed.
The final study will include a determination of the alternative that in the professional judgment of the Director of the NPS would be most effective and efficient in protecting significant resources and providing for public enjoyment. The last step in the study process is transmittal of the study to Congress.
Once the study is sent to Congress, the NPS will announce the availability of the study on the project website and through communications.
There is no timeline or requirement for subsequent action by the United States Congress. Coordination among the CNMI government, the Rota Municipal government, and United States government, as well as Congressional action, would be required for the establishment of a unit of the national park system on Rota.
The NPS introduced the study in 2017 through a newsletter, website, and meetings with organizations, agencies, elected officials, and the public. Meetings were held on Rota, Guam, and Saipan and were attended by over 200 people. In addition to public input, the NPS is basing the analysis and findings for the study on a review of existing literature; information provided by CNMI and NPS experts, scholars, and organizations; analysis of case studies of existing national parks; and the professional judgment of NPS staff.