NPS Director's Order 12: Conservation Planning, Environmental Impact Analysis and Decision Making Back to EQD
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California National Historic Trail, CA1.6 Introduction — Specificity of Data Needed — Plans and Projects

Because planning in the NPS includes several distinct stages and types of decisions that involve different scales, the levels of detail in each will vary. When plans are conceptual, such as in the general management plan, the NEPA analysis may be comparably conceptual. Ultimately, however, a decision-maker must have site-specific information before a plan can be implemented (e.g., the ground disturbed, the resource changed). The following are some options for collecting this site-specific information:

  • Collect it as part of the EIS on a general management or other large-scale plan. Because funding to implement the plan may be delayed, you may need to update site-specific analysis several times for the same proposal. The advantages of this approach are that decisions made at the planning stage will be more fully informed, and future NEPA work to implement the plan may be minimized, unless data and planning decisions have become outdated by the time the plan is implemented.
  • Collect reconnaissance-level information to make broad policy and planning decisions. Collect site-specific information to assess implementation options as funding becomes available. The site-specific NEPA document may then be “tiered” (see section 7.4) to the EIS for the broader plan.
  • Identify zoned areas within the plan that are likely to be designated for visitor use facilities based on reconnaissance-level data. Collect site-specific data for the smaller developable areas as an element of the plan.
  When plans are conceptual, such as the general management plan, the NEPA analysis may be comparably conceptual. However, a decision-maker must ultimately have site-specific information before a plan can be implemented.  

Because planning in the NPS includes several distinct stages and types of decisions that involve different scales, the levels of detail in each will vary. When plans are conceptual, such as in the general management plan, the NEPA analysis may be comparably conceptual. Ultimately, however, a decision-maker must have site-specific information before a plan can be implemented (e.g., the ground disturbed, the resource changed). The following are some options for collecting this site-specific information:

  • Collect it as part of the EIS on a general management or other large-scale plan. Because funding to implement the plan may be delayed, you may need to update site-specific analysis several times for the same proposal. The advantages of this approach are that decisions made at the planning stage will be more fully informed, and future NEPA work to implement the plan may be minimized, unless data and planning decisions have become outdated by the time the plan is implemented.
  • Collect reconnaissance-level information to make broad policy and planning decisions. Collect site-specific information to assess implementation options as funding becomes available. The site-specific NEPA document may then be “tiered” (see section 7-4) to the EIS for the broader plan.
  • Identify zoned areas within the plan that are likely to be designated for visitor use facilities based on reconnaissance-level data. Collect site-specific data for the smaller developable areas as an element of the plan.

Bandelier National Monument, NMAlways include data on impacts to the park's significant natural and cultural resources and values (as defined by the park's enabling legislation and other relevant sources of information); to interpretive, educational, and recreational opportunities; to resources protected by federal, state, or local laws; and to other relevant resources in your park or region. Also see DO-12 section IV (4.3 and 4.4) regarding integration of proper technical and scientific studies appropriate to the decisions under consideration.

Further Links:

See Sections 4.5 and 4.6

NPOMA section 206

Guidance on Administrative Record

Guidance to Client Agencies on Compiling the Administrative Record

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