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FONSI Issued for Colter Bay

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The National Park Service has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Colter Bay Visitor Services Plan/Environmental Assessment.  The purpose of the Colter Bay Visitor Services Plan/EA is to guide decision making for redevelopment and restoration of park facilities in the vicinity of the Colter Bay Visitor Center. Of the four alternatives considered in the environmental assessment, Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs says the approved action includes replacing the existing Colter Bay Visitor Center .  She says that building is old and decrepit, and is expensive to maintain.  She says a new, smaller building would be built at a nearby location and the traffic and pedestrian patterns in that area would be changed while reducing the paved footprint in the area.  The Plan also calls for increasing the number of oversized parking spaces near the Colter Bay marina.  Skaggs says until recently, the David T. Vernon Collection of American Indian Art was stored and exhibited at the current Colter Bay Visitor Center. However, because the existing visitor center does not meet NPS museum standards and put the collection at risk, the collection was transferred in the fall of 2011 to the NPS Western Archeological and Conservation Center in Tucson, Arizona for treatment and temporary storage.  Skaggs says most of the collection will remain there until a permanent storage and exhibit facility that meets NPS museum standards is available here.  She says the park is unsure where the new facility for the collection will be located, but completing this step for the visitor center will allow planners to focus on a facility for the collection. Implementation of the Colter Bay Visitor Services Plan will begin when funding is secured.

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