Remove Boardwalk & Structure at Effigy Mounds NM

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Title: Remove Boardwalk & Structure at Effigy Mounds NM
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Description: The National Park Service (NPS), Midwest Region, proposes to remove a boardwalk trail and a maintenance structure constructed at Effigy Mounds National Monument near Harpers Ferry, Iowa, due to their adverse effects on historic properties.

Construction of the boardwalk, designed to establish a visitor trail between the Yellow River and the prehistoric Nazekaw Terrace Mound Group, began in late 2008 but was stopped in April 2009 when an NPS operations evaluation team discovered that the proper National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act compliance had not been completed. The maintenance structure, built in late 2007, was also found to be in violation of the acts. Adverse effects from the boardwalk and maintenance structure include intrusion into a landscape listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both projects possibly damaged subsurface archeological features through augering for the placement of structural piers. Fieldwork by professional archeologists, to be conducted during spring 2010, will attempt to determine the extent and severity of any subsurface damage.

The NPS proposes to avoid future disturbance through careful removal of the above-ground portions of the boardwalk due to their adverse effects and their proximity to sensitive archeological features. The concrete piers for the boardwalk would remain in place until archeologists complete their fieldwork, make recommendations on minimizing or mitigating damage, and conclude required consultations, particularly with the affiliated Tribes. The cover for the maintenance structure, consisting of a light metal frame and plastic tarp, was removed to reduce the visual impact. The imported gravel base and the wooden substructure would remain in place pending the outcome and recommendations of the archeological fieldwork, and completion of consultations. Any usable construction materials removed would be made available for appropriate projects at Effigy Mounds or other NPS sites. Unusable materials would be recycled.

The NPS is consulting on this project with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, American Indian Tribes known to be affiliated with the park land, the Iowa State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Iowa State Archeologist. The NPS also requests public participation in resolving the adverse effects to historic properties from the construction. Please see related information on the .pdf file "EFMO PEPC 3.31.10".

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