Craters comment deadline approaching
Final plan to be out by end of 2004
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
Less than a month remains to comment on
the draft management plan for the expanded Craters of the Moon National Monument
The 90-day public comment period on the
400-page draft plan ends July 29.
This is the final opportunity for people
to get involved in developing the plan that will guide management of the
monument for the next 15 to 20 years, said Jim Morris, the monumentís
Craters of the Moon National Monument was
expanded by presidential proclamation Nov. 9, 2000. With the signing of that
document, the monument grew from 54,000 acres to 755,000 acres. But a management
strategy for the vastly larger monument was needed.
The draft plan is the result of three
years of collaboration between the National Park Service and Bureau of Land
Management. The process included involvement with the public and other
cooperating agencies to develop one comprehensive management plan for the
If things go according to schedule, the
new plan could be in place by January.
"The draft plan identified a preferred
alternative as well as three other possible courses of action describing levels
of development, transportation and access, and managing cultural and natural
resources," Morris said. "We want people to tell us what they like or donít like
about the alternatives. The interagency team will consider all public comments
received as a final plan of action is developed."
But so far, the agencies have only
received about 20 letters and a batch of form e-mails.
"It may be that people are waiting for the
last moment, or they may like what they see in the plan," Morris said. "Or maybe
itís just summertime, and everyone has a lot going on."
However, comments have been helpful so
far. Morris said that the most helpful comments sight specific attributes of the
proposal and reasons for positive or negative reivews.
The draft plan was released April 30, and
copies are available at public libraries throughout the region, as well as
online at www.id.blm.gov/planning/index.htm.
Comments should be sent by July 29 to the
Craters of the Moon Planning Team, Shoshone BLM Field Office, 400 West F Street,
Shoshone, ID 83352. They can also be sent via e-mail to
"This is it," Morris said. "We will be put
together a plan, and hopefully we wonít still be revisiting this a year from