Joshua Tree NP, General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement
As you may know, the National Park Service (NPS) recently took the first steps in developing a new general management plan (GMP) for Joshua Tree National Park. In the spring and summer of 2010, many of you contributed ideas and concerns in the initial public scoping phase of the GMP process (via public open houses and comment submittals). This information has proven to be very valuable in helping the NPS better understand the many public perceptions and perspectives on issues and values of Joshua Tree National Park. The NPS would like to genuinely thank you for your input, interest, and passion in the park and its future.
As a result of the public scoping process, the current GMP still provides a useful (workable) framework for overall park management and what is needed is more focused and targeted planning around several key issues. Therefore, the multi-year GMP development effort will not be continuing. The NPS will shift its focus to more targeted planning efforts that will aim to address some of the most important and most urgent issues facing the Joshua Tree National Park. Given the pressing, time-sensitive nature of many of the issues and threats, this change in focus should benefit the park and its users. These issues include:
• urban encroachment, renewable energy development, and other adjacent land uses;
• open space and conservation efforts outside the park boundaries and throughout the region;
• Wilderness status and conditions;
• visitor use issue (e.g., transportation facilities, local community needs, user conflicts, user capacity); and
• natural and cultural resource degradation from visitor use.
The valuable public comments that were received during the GMP scoping process in 2010 have helped the NPS frame these issues and will also be considered in the future, more-targeted planning processes.
For the record, here's what we've accomplished since the planning effort began in 2010:
• development of the park's "Foundation Plan", which includes the park purpose, significance, and fundamental resources and values, special mandates, and interpretive theme statements; and
• gathered and analyzed public comments ("GMP scoping comments") and identifying park issues.
The Foundation Plan and the summary analysis of the initial public scoping comments can be found here within the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website (just click documents).
With the NPS shifting the focus toward more urgent issues, the park will continue to keep the public informed on the status of these planning efforts. There will certainly be future opportunities for your input and involvement.
Thank you again for your sincere interest in Joshua Tree National Park. If you have questions, please contact us at 760-367-5502.
Superintendent, Joshua Tree National Park