The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comments as part of an Environmental Assessment (EA) process to analyze the effects of implementing parking congestion management strategies at the Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch area of Arches National Park.
Strategies such as expanding the existing parking lot, eliminating roadside parking, and implementing a reservation system are being considered, and public comments will help the NPS develop alternatives to be evaluated in the EA, according to a press release.
Parking at the Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch trailhead is frequently congested, causing visitors to park outside of paved areas and along roadsides, resulting in damage to soils and vegetation, according to the release. Flooding is also an issue in the area since Winter Camp Wash bisects the road, requiring closures of the Delicate Arch Viewpoint Road during flood events. As a result, a plan to help determine specific goals and objectives for the management of congestion and flood-related issues in this area of the park is needed.
Delicate Arch is one of the most popular visitor destinations in the park, with daily visitation to the site during the peak season being approximately 2,000 people. The Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch parking lot’s 73 spaces isn’t sufficient for the amount of visitation.
According to the release, The EA will result in a decision-making framework that analyzes a reasonable range of alternatives to meet objectives of the proposal, evaluates potential issues and impacts to the park’s resources and values, and identifies mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts.
A scoping brochure is available for public review and comment on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site at parkplanning.nps.gov/arch. Click on Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch Site Plan (Project ID# 51385) to view the document. Comments may also be sent to: National Park Service, Southeast Utah Group, Attn: Planning and Compliance Coordinator, 2282 S. West Resource Blvd, Moab, Utah 84532. People who wish to be added to the park’s mailing list for future correspondence may indicate that in their response. The deadline for comments is Tuesday, April 8.
Public comment sought on parking congestion
“The Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch parking lot’s 73 spaces isn’t sufficient for the amount of visitation.”