North Country National Scenic Trail, Tioga Beach Section, Itasca County, MN Environmental Assessment

The National Park Service (NPS) - North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) proposes to construct approximately 18-miles of new hiking trail in Itasca County, Minnesota (hereafter the Proposed Action). The Proposed Action would be connected on each end to the existing NCT. It would be a natural surface footpath that would include NCT signage, structures for passage over wet ground or water, gravel parking lots, and primitive backcountry campsites. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to create new hiking trail that would meet the goals and purpose of the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment Act (HR 1216), the NCT, and the National Trails System. The Proposed Action is needed to improve the NCT route in Itasca County and eliminate approximately 12-miles of existing NCT roadwalk on Highway 6. The NPS seeks to exemplify the best scenery and variety that Northeastern Minnesota has to offer, as well as provide for the enjoyment of outdoor areas and world-class walking and hiking experiences.

The NPS has drafted an Environmental Assessment (EA) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The draft EA evaluates two alternatives: the No Action Alternative and the Proposed Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, the Proposed Action would not be implemented and the existing route would remain as approximately 12-miles of NCT roadwalk. Under the Proposed Action Alternative, the Proposed Action would be implemented and 12-miles of NCT roadwalk would be eliminated and replaced by 18-miles of new trail. After analyzing potential impacts and mitigation measures, the NPS identified no significant impacts associated with implementing the Proposed Action Alternative.
Comment Period: Closed        05/20/2021 - 06/19/2021
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