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Antietam National Battlefield Land Use Management Plan / EA FONSI

The National Park Service (NPS) is taking steps to restore the natural and historic landscapes at Antietam National Battlefield. After completing an Environmental Assessment (EA) and public engagement process, the park is amending its General Management Plan to include a Landscape Management Plan. This document will guide the park in managing lands acquired since 1992, as well as the entirety of the historic battlefield.

The Landscape Management Plan was developed to establish comprehensive and sustainable land-use strategies to preserve significant landscape elements and integrate natural and cultural resources. The plan defines the framework for the treatment of the battlefield and describes specific guidelines and tasks aimed to maintain and enhance its historic character.

The amendment to the general management plan will guide the park as it:  

- Restores approximately 140 acres of woodland areas;
- Improves water quality through enhanced riparian buffers and erosion mitigation, including planting of shrubs or grasses;
- Establishes approximately 287 acres of additional native grasslands and meadows through conversion of some hayfields and crop fields;
- Maintains approximately 824 acres of agricultural areas through special use permits or historic leases;
- Reestablishes and maintain approximately two acres of the historic Mumma Farm orchard and approximately eight acres of the Piper Farmstead's existing orchard;
- Clears obstructive vegetation and relocates intrusive utility lines to reestablish important visual connections; and
- Maintains approximately 15,000 linear feet of high priority replica historic fencing that supports educational programs.
- Park managers plan to complete these improvements over several years.

In July, Antietam National Battlefield issued an EA evaluating the feasibility and potential impacts of the proposed Landscape Management Plan. The EA was available for public review and comment from July 7 to August 8, 2022. The NPS signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on Nov. 1. The FONSI describes why the selected plan will have no significant effects on the environment, provides the rationale for the decision and outlines conservation measures that will be taken to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts.
Document Content:
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