BAKER, NV—Great Basin National Park Superintendent James Woolsey announced that the Lehman Caves Management Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) and the Wild Caves and Karst Management Plan EA are now available for public review. These EAs will be open for review for 30 days, from July 15 to August 14, 2019.

These cave management plans are needed to guide management actions for developed Lehman Caves and the 39 known undeveloped caves in the park. Management actions recommended include updating infrastructure in Lehman Caves, allowing for different types of interpretive tours, continuing monitoring of natural and cultural resources, and preserving the cave as much as possible while continuing its legacy as the oldest show cave in Nevada, with visitation beginning in 1885. For the wild caves, emphasis is on protection and preservation of their unique geological, hydrological, biological, archeological, and paleontological properties, while also allowing recreational access through a permit system to selected caves during designated time periods.

These EAs were prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Each one examines two alternatives: 1) the No Action Alternative and 2) the Proposed Action, which would be implementing the cave management plan.

The EAs for these two plans incorporated public comments received during the public scoping on the proposed actions from May 15 to June 14 and also from the public meeting and site visit into Lehman Caves held June 3.

The public can review and comment on the environmental assessments at the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/LehmanCavesMP and https://parkplanning.nps.gov/WCKMP. Comments will be accepted through August 14, 2019, and will be considered in finalizing these documents. Comments can also be mailed to Cave Management Plans, Great Basin National Park, Baker, NV 89311.