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Removal of non-historic materials and downed aircraft from glaciated environments in Denali National Park and Preserve: Programmatic approval 2020-2029

Denali National Park and Preserve » Removal of non-historic materials and downed aircraft from glaciated environments in Denali National Park and Preserve: Programmatic approval 2020-2029 » Document List

This project would allow the removal of non-historic materials, including downed aircraft, from glaciated areas of Denali National Park and Preserve for up to ten years (2020 - 2029). Actions taken under this authorization would be reviewed annually during the ten year period.

This project is necessary because non-historic debris in glacier environments degrades the natural condition of these areas of the park and may pose safety risks in areas where aircraft landing and mountaineering take place. The heavy aircraft use around Denali's glaciated environments inevitably leads to an occasional downed aircraft. Downed aircraft may additionally leak fuel and hazardous fluids that could be harmful to the glacial environment and may require rapid containment and removal.

Such removal efforts may require a variety of actions, including but not limited to overnight stays by removal personnel, use of fixed wing aircraft, use of helicopters for sling loads, and helicopter landings. Removal may be accomplished by National Park Service (directly or through contracts) or by an entity unaffiliated with the National Park Service. Debris removal by third parties requires Superintendent approval and may require a special use permit.

Activities addressed by this project include:
• Removal of materials and structures, including downed aircraft, from glacial environments. Glacial environments include glaciers, moraines, and adjacent areas of exposed bare rock. Removal of debris from areas of the park covered in soil or with a higher potential for the presence of cultural resources are not included in this project and would require additional compliance.
• Removal of only non-historic materials and structures. Removal of historic materials requires additional review and compliance.
• The use of helicopters for debris removal including in designated and eligible wilderness. This may include sling load or other operations that do not involve the landing of helicopters as well as the landing of helicopters for the insertion of required personnel or for debris removal. Helicopter use must meet the minimum tool requirement as outlined in the attached MRA.

Activities related to debris removal but not specifically addressed by this project and otherwise normally allowed (e.g., camping in the park, use of fixed wing aircraft) are allowed with any normally required permitting or permission.

Activities not addressed by this project that would require additional compliance include:
• Activities likely to affect cultural resources (such as if digging or disturbance of soil is required)
• Activities that would normally require a special use permit that are not specifically included in the list of activities addressed by this project
• Installations in wilderness, including monitoring equipment

Additional requirements guiding the removal of materials and structures from glacial environments may be imposed with a special use permit, additional project-specific compliance, or other mechanism on a case-by-case basis.