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National Parks seeks input on long-range prairie stewardship plan

A view looking south of the prairie at American Camp on San Juan Island.  - Contributed photo (NPS)
A view looking south of the prairie at American Camp on San Juan Island.
— image credit: Contributed photo (NPS)

The National Parks Service is seeking public input in developing a long-range stewardship plan for the prairies of American and English camps of San Juan Island National Historical Park.

National Parks is hosting a series of meetings this week in Anacortes, Friday Harbor and in Seattle to gather public comment on the Prairie Stewardship Plan, which will direct the manner in which the natural and cultural landscape of American Camp and English Camp's Young Hill are managed.

"We want to know what people think we should be doing to manage the island prairie ecosystem," San Juan Island National Historical Park Superintendent Lee Taylor said in a prepared statement about the planning process. "We are trying to find out what issues are important to ensure that they are included in the environmental impact analysis process."

Taylor said the stewardship plan will likely rely on a suite of restoration and management tools that would facilitate the ability of the park to effectively restore components of its rare island prairie ecosystem. The meetings are intended to identify challenges and opportunities based on existing conditions and public expectations, she said.

Islanders can weigh in on the prairie plan Wednesday, June 27, at the Mullis Community Senior Center in Friday Harbor, 589 Nash Street, 6-8 p.m. The series of meetings began Monday, June 25, at the Anacortes Public Library, and the third in the series is Thursday, June 28, at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle, 4-6 p.m.

Those wishing to comment on the plan should submit them in writing as soon as possible, but no later than Sept. 4, to: Superintendent Lee Taylor, San Juan Island National Historical Park, P.O. Box 429, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, or via the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/sajh). An optional comment form is also available on the PEPC and park websites ( http://www.nps.gov/sajh).

Another opportunity for public comment will be available this fall as the park identifies and presents preliminary alternatives based on public scoping comments. A future Prairie Stewardship Plan / Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) will provide analysis of alternatives developed for this plan.

To be added to SJI National Historical Park's mailing list, contact park officials at, (360) 378-2240 or http://www.nps.gov/sajh/index.htm. Unless requested otherwise, a list of those providing input during public comment periods, including addresses, will be available to the public upon request.

 

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