Quantico Orienteering REVISED Event, February 4, 2007
Quantico Orienteering submitted a special use permit request to the National Park Service to conduct an orienteering event in the Gold Mine Tract (Great Falls, MD). The Gold Mine Tract is under the administration of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Event participants would use compass points to navigate predetermined routes. The applicant stated the event participation would not exceed 125 people.
The initial 2007 request included a total of seven courses that ranged in skill level. These courses were reviewed by the park's Interdisciplinary Team (IDT). The courses were evaluated and potentially posed threats to park resources within the Gold Mine Tract area. Resources of concern include historic cultural resource ruins and natural resource habitat areas. An environmental screening form (ESF) was completed on December 5, 2006. The recommendation, based on the ESF, was that the proposed event warranted further evaluation through a more thorough environmental evaluation. The original 2007 routes, as proposed, would introduce 22 miles of new foot traffic impacts in an area that contains only 6.5 miles of formal hiking trails.
As a result of consultation between park staff, National Capital Regional staff and the DOI Office of the Solicitor, Quantico Orienteering submitted a revised application which contained a revision of the original seven 2007 courses. The revised 2007 courses, as mapped, would introduce 24.3 miles of new foot traffic impacts.
Quantico Orienteering conducted a similar event in 2006. Similar routes were proposed and were evaluated to present potential impacts to the natural and cultural resources within the Gold Mine Tract. Quantico Orienteering 2006 organizers offered to conduct the event with only two courses and the National Park Service agreed with this limitation. This information was posted under Quantico Orienteering Club 2006 Orienteering Event - Special Use Permit Request (REVISED EVENT). The 2006 event was limited to 125 participants.
The park's IDT has reviewed the revised courses for the 2007 event. Based on the 2006 event, the IDT is recommending that the event be limited to two courses, and has completed a new ESF that is based on the White and Yellow courses only. The White course follows formal trails, which reduces impacts to resources. The Yellow trail consists of both on and off trail travel, but has been redesigned to avoid areas of concern. It remains the park's recommendation, however, that additional orienteering routes would warrant additional environmental evaluations to determine the level of impacts to park resources.
The National Capital Regional Office, Division of Park Programs, is responsible for the issuance of the special use permit for this event. Park staff has forwarded the park's recommendation for consideration.
At close of business on February 1, 2007, the event applicant informed the National Park Service that their event application was being withdrawn. The event had been advertised for February 4, 2007.
For further information regarding this project, please contact the Division of Park Programs at National Park Service, National Capital Region, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242.