MORU, General Management Plan / Environmental Assessment

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Dear Friends:

You are invited to participate in the planning and preservation of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The Memorial protects the mountain sculpture, forests, wildlife and other natural and cultural resources, safeguards and interprets some of the area's cultural history, and provides for public education, appreciation, and the recreational use and enjoyment of these resources.

The last General Management Plan for the Memorial was completed in 1980. Since then, the Memorial has expanded, visitation has increased, security has changed for America's icons, and the Memorial staff has expanded the interpretation of the Memorial to encompass the rich diversity of the history of the United States. The park staff is also coordinating an environmental assessment of a proposed backcountry trail that would highlight the natural and cultural resources surrounding the sculpture.

These changes through the decades have created a somewhat different mission from that envisioned in the 1980 GMP. Finally, most of the facilities that were discussed in the 1980 GMP have been replaced by the facilities built in the 1990s. Thus, the Memorial's current plan is in need of revision. This year we will begin to develop a new General Management Plan to set long-term directions for the overall management and development of the memorial for the next 15 to 20 years. The new plan will help us make decisions on the direction of resource management, visitor use and interpretation, and facilities management. The plan should be completed in the next four years.

We are looking forward to working with you to craft a general management plan that will capture the connections visitors have had with Mount Rushmore National Memorial over the years and that will continue to protect and enhance the Memorial's resources and visitor experiences. We hope you will join us to express your thoughts, ideas, and vision so that together we can make the Memorial a wonderful resource for the future.

Gerard A. Baker