The Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website is NPS's primary tool dedicated to facilitating public input into decision making processes. The PEPC website was taken offline during the government shutdown, which prohibited the ability of affected parties and the public to provide comments on any projects or proposals whose comment periods were open between December 21, 2018, and Feb 4, 2019, when PEPC was put back in service. To ensure that the public has ample opportunity to review and comment, the comment period for this proposal will reopen on Feb 4, 2019 and be extended through Feb 15, 2019. Any written comments received or comments entered into PEPC prior to the shutdown will be considered and included in the overall project record.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area officials have developed a plan to address operational needs for Lake Mead in the event that water elevation decreases below 1,050 feet. The purpose of this plan is to provide a long-term strategy for addressing operational needs to maintain lake access and to provide safe and diverse recreational opportunities.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been operating under a Low Water Amendment to its General Management Plan since 2005 because of persistent drought that has lowered the water level of Lake Mead. A previous plan addresses management down to a lake elevation of 1,050 feet. The current water elevation at Lake Mead is 1,081 feet. Bureau of Reclamation projections over the next 24 months suggest levels could decline to 1,051 feet.
An environmental assessment has been prepared for a second General Management Plan Amendment to guide operations down to a lake elevation of 950 feet. There are no projections that indicate the lake will reach 950 feet, but park officials prepared the planning document to identify steps necessary for continued operation at each of the lake's access sites at various elevations. The location and size of lake access facilities will be consistent with the zoning and density goals and the objectives of the Lake Management Plan.
The environmental assessment provides a decision-making framework that analyzes all reasonable alternatives to meet the objectives of the proposal; evaluates potential issues and impacts to resources and values; and identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts.