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Colter Bay Plan Released For Comment

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The National Park Service Wednesday released a Colter Bay Visitor Services Plan/Environmental Assessment for public review over the next 30 days, concluding September 13th. The purpose of the plan is to guide decision making for redevelopment and restoration in the vicinity of the Colter Bay Visitor Center which is a primary destination on the east shore of Jackson Lake. Park officials explain it has become increasingly difficult to sustainably operate and maintain the visitor center due to its age, condition, and numerous critical system deficiencies. The Park Service is also considering changes for nearby parking and vehicle and pedestrian circulation. Those proposed changes are intended to mitigate safety concerns, protect natural and cultural resources and improve visitors’ experience of the area.  The preferred alternative includes the replacement of the existing visitor center with a smaller visitor contact station, changes to vehicular and pedestrian circulation, reduction of passenger vehicle parking spaces and an increase in the number of oversized parking spaces.  Three other alternatives are also offered in the process.  The Colter Bay Visitor Services Plan/EA is also a prerequisite to a subsequent planning effort the park will undertake in the next three to five years to address a new facility that can suitably house the Vernon Collection of American Indian Art and accommodate museum storage and curatorial functions.

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