Enclosed is Glacier National Park's Environmental Assessment (EA) to provide a transit system terminal at the St. Mary Visitor Center in order to support the park's new transit system scheduled to begin operation in July, 2007. The park's transit system will support the rehabilitation effort on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR), giving park visitors the option of traveling on a bus system rather than driving the GTSR, so as to reduce traffic congestion during road rehabilitation.
Proposed actions discussed in this environmental assessment include changes to the interior of the Visitor Center, accessible restrooms, an addition to the visitor center to house an employee break room, construction of a dance arbor, bus stop and expansion of the visitor center parking lots.
The proposed modifications to the St. Mary Visitor Center would consist of remodeling the visitor center interior and exterior to better accommodate transit system visitor use and to improve existing visitor center functions. Interior modifications also include new exhibits. Exterior modifications include construction of additional parking at the visitor center to accommodate buses, visitors who choose to park and use the transit system, other park visitor vehicles and recreational vehicles. Modifications to the visitor center would also include upgrades to make the building compliant with the Architectural Barriers Act and Americans with Disabilities Act, and upgrades to the fire suppression and security systems throughout the visitor center. A dance arbor would be constructed to provide opportunities for local American Indian cultural demonstrations and other educational programs.
When scoping was announced on this EA in December 2005, alternatives were going to address the Divide Creek flooding issue in this area. It was determined that a great deal of additional analysis was going to be required to develop alternatives and sufficient funding was not available at this time to design a range of alternatives and analyze them. Therefore this issue is no longer being addressed in this EA, but will be addressed in the future.
Comments on this EA can be provided directly through the Park's planning website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkId=61)
by selecting this project. Or write to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn: St. Mary EA, West Glacier, Montana 59936. This EA will be on public review for 30 days. Please provide comments by April 13, 2007. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will always make submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives of or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.
Thank you very much for your continued support and interest in Glacier National Park.
Michael O. Holm