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E-M:/ Keeweenau National Historic Park, Calumet

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Heads up ....Copper Country!!!

[Federal Register: August 31, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 168)]
[Page 46233-46236]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Park Service

Keweenaw National Historical Park, Michigan

AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice--Record of Decision.


SUMMARY: The Department of the Interior, National Park Service, has 
prepared a Record of Decision on The Final General Management Plan and 
Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Keweenaw National 
Historical Park, in Houghton County, Michigan.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Frank Fiala, Superintendent, 
Keweenaw National Historical Park, P.O. Box 471, Calumet, Michigan 
49931-0471. Telephone number 906-337-3168.

Supplementary Information:


    The Department of the Interior, National Park Service, has prepared 
this Record of Decision on the Final General Management Plan/
Environmental Impact Statement (FGMP/EIS) for Keweenaw National 
Historical Park, in Houghton County, Michigan. This Record of Decision 
is a statement of the decision made, the background of the project, 
other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, the 
environmentally preferable alternative, measures to minimize 
environmental harm, and public involvement in the decision-making 


    The National Park Service will implement the proposed action as 
described in the Alternative 4 and Actions Common to All sections in 
the Final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement issued 
in June 1998.
    The intent of the proposed action is to create a dynamic national 
park area that commemorates the significance of copper mining on the 
Keweenaw Peninsula. Over time, the National Park Service will establish 
a strong public presence in the Quincy and Calumet park units through 
ownership, management, and interpretation of key resources. Also, 
through technical and financial assistance to the community, the 
National Park Service will be a contributing member of an organized and 
active partnership of local

[[Page 46234]]

government and community groups that will work toward preservation and 
interpretation of park and area resources. This approach will in the 
long term best meet the purposes of Public Law 102-543 and provide the 
broadest level of resource protection and visitor services for the park 
and its cooperating sites.
    In concept, this plan would be implemented by gradually building 
park funding and a staff of professionals to provide increased 
financial and technical assistance to the partners and cooperating 
sites and other community groups to facilitate the preservation, 
maintenance, and interpretation of resources. Once a strong assistance 
program is established, the NPS would begin a concerted program to 
acquire or otherwise protect and interpret significant properties in 
the Calumet and Quincy units of the park, as funding and staffing 
levels and legal constraints permit.
    Initially, visitors will depend primarily on the preservation 
accomplishments and interpretive programs of park cooperating sites and 
others to gain an understanding of the park and region and its 
significance. Gradually visitors will experience a much more 
traditional national park visit as more resources within the park 
boundary are preserved and interpreted by the park and community. At 
least one property in each unit will be leased or acquired for park 
administrative and visitor use facilities, with the intent that a 
Quincy visitor facility will provide most visitors the first point of 
introduction and orientation to the park, and that the park 
headquarters and additional visitor orientation services will be 
located in Calumet.
    The Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission was 
established as part of Public Law 102-543 to, among other things, 
advise and assist the Secretary of the Interior in the planning and 
implementation of this general management plan. Toward this end, the 
commission will serve as the catalyst to bring interested public and 
private agencies on the Keweenaw Peninsula together and help facilitate 
and organize their activities toward achieving the intent of Public Law 
102-543 and the park's general management plan. While the 
responsibility and authority for the management of the park will remain 
with the NPS, the Park Service will pursue through appropriate methods 
the amendment of Public Law 102-543 to activate the commission's 
operating authorities. These authorities will allow the Commission the 
ability to conduct educational programs, accept donations, and acquire 
real property to further the purposes of Public Law 102-543.
    A limited number of cooperative sites will be established that 
represent a unique story that is not well represented within park 
boundaries. These sites would be eligible for funding or assistance 
from the Commission and the partnership and consultative assistance 
from the NPS. The NPS would have no liability for the sites. Within 
park boundaries, the NPS can enter into cooperative agreements with 
owners of nationally significant historic properties and they would be 
eligible for specific NPS financial and technical assistance, 
regardless of whether they are designated cooperating sites.
    The NPS will use various methods of leasing, acquiring, or 
otherwise protecting properties primarily in the core industrial areas 
in the park. Department of the Interior policy 602 DM 2, section 2.4, 
regulates acquisition of real property contaminated by hazardous 
material. This policy allows a degree of flexibility that is not 
permitted by language in the legislation that created Keweenaw National 
Historical Park (KEWE). The NPS will seek, through legislative 
processes, to modify that language, thereby assuring KEWE is on the 
same footing as other parks in the system with regard to property 
acquisition. A land protection plan will be developed for the park and 
will establish priorities for acquisition of lands or interests in 
    Additional future studies and plans will be needed to implement the 
broad guidance of the general management plan, such as historic 
structure reports, a historic resource study, a cultural landscape 
report, an ethnographic overview, oral history interviews, a 
comprehensive interpretive plan, a resource management plan, a boundary 
study, and hazardous substances surveys for lands proposed for 

Background of Project

    The concept of a park to commemorate the significance of copper 
mining on the Keweenaw Peninsula surfaced in northern Michigan in 1974. 
In response to a congressional request, the National Park Service 
prepared national historic landmark nominations that resulted in the 
establishment in 1989 of the Quincy Mining Company Historic District 
and the Calumet Historic District. A Study of Alternatives, Proposed 
Keweenaw National Historical Park, was prepared in 1991 and its 
findings led Congress to pass Public Law 102-543 on October 27, 1992. 
Public Law 102-543 established Keweenaw National Historical Park as a 
unit of the National Park System. The purposes of the legislation are 
to (1) preserve the nationally significant historical and cultural 
sites, structures, and districts of a portion of the Keweenaw Peninsula 
in the State of Michigan for the education, benefit, and inspiration of 
present and future generations; and (2) to interpret the historic 
synergism between the geological, aboriginal, sociological, cultural, 
technological, and corporate forces that relate the story of copper on 
the Keweenaw Peninsula.
    The legislation also established the Keweenaw National Historical 
Park Advisory Commission to advise and assist the Secretary of 
Interior. While the legislation identified operating authorities for 
the Commission, President Bush did not activate those authorities due 
to incongruities in the language related to how Commission members were 
appointed. These operating authorities, once activated, will provide 
the avenue by which much of the legislative intent, especially as it 
relates to the preservation and interpretation of resources outside the 
park boundaries, can be realized.
    The Quincy unit, with about 1,120 acres, is just northeast of the 
city of Hancock and adjacent to Portage Lake. It includes the remnant 
structures and mines of the Quincy Mining Company and its associated 
historic landscape, including the Quincy Smelter. About 11 miles to the 
northeast is the Calumet unit. It includes about 750 acres of remnant 
administrative and mine buildings and the associated historic landscape 
of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, and the supporting commercial 
and residential areas of the Village of Calumet and Calumet Township.

Other Alternatives Considered

    The Final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement 
describes four alternatives for management actions, the environment 
that would be affected by those alternatives, and the environmental 
consequences of implementing the alternative actions. The major topic 
areas covered in each alternative are visitor experience and 
interpretation, financial and technical preservation assistance, 
acquisition of properties, development and use of properties, 
administration and operation, and implementation. An earlier 
preliminary management concept looked at NPS acquisition and management 
of virtually every significant property in the two park units. This was 
considered but rejected due to cost and contradiction of the 
partnership approach to

[[Page 46235]]

management envisioned by the park's enabling legislation.
    The three alternatives that have been considered in addition to the 
Alternative 4 proposed action can be characterized as follows:
    Alternative 1, the no-action alternative, proposes no changes in 
the current management direction. Visitors would still rely primarily 
on the services provided by groups like the Quincy Mine Hoist 
Association and Coppertown USA and other sites to learn about the 
historic resources and the history of copper mining on the Keweenaw. 
Calumet would remain primarily a self-discovery area, although some 
information would be available at park headquarters and other places. 
The park staff would continue to work in partnership with the community 
to find ways to protect resources and provide visitor services. These 
efforts would be limited by minimal NPS staffing and funding.
    The community assistance alternative, alternative 2, would place 
the community at the forefront of implementing preservation actions and 
interpretive and educational programs at sites throughout the park. The 
protection of the park's significant resources would be vested in the 
local governments through the designation of local historic districts 
and preservation ordinances. The National Park Service would remain 
primarily in the background in a support role, providing a 
comprehensive program of technical and financial assistance to the 
community to help make their actions a success. The primary areas of 
interaction between NPS staff and visitors would be at a destination 
visitor facility in the Quincy unit; basic visitor services and 
administrative offices would be provided in a facility at Calumet.
    Alternative 3 proposes a much more traditional park experience in 
the core industrial areas of each park unit. As funding and staffing 
levels allowed, the NPS would invest substantially in each of the core 
industrial areas by acquiring significant properties, conducting 
resource preservation, and adaptively using the structures. 
Interpretive staff and media would be located at key sites. 
Partnerships would be established and technical and financial 
assistance provided in order to advance preservation of core industrial 
area resources. Preservation and interpretation of resources outside 
the core areas would be dependent on the efforts of the community.

Basis For Decision

    Alternative 4, the selected action, combines the best aspects of 
alternatives 2 and 3. This results in potentially the broadest level of 
resources protection, interpretation, visitor services, and the optimum 
opportunity for high quality visitor experiences. This approach remains 
true to a major partnership approach by placing significant emphasis on 
the role of the advisory commission and park partners, yet ensures the 
National Park Service will have a very public role in the management 
and interpretation of resources.

Environmentally Preferable Alternative

    Environmentally preferable is defined as ``the alternative that 
will promote the national environmental policy as expressed in NEPA's 
section 101. Ordinarily, this means the alternative that causes the 
least damage to the biological and physical environment; it also means 
the alternative which best protects, preserves, and enhances historic, 
cultural, and natural resources'' (Forty Most Asked Questions 
Concerning CEQ's National Environmental Policy Act Regulations, 1981).
    Alternative 4, the selected action, is the environmentally 
preferable action. It best meets the full range of national 
environmental policy goals as stated in NEPA's section 101. Alternative 
4 combines the two major resource preservation strategies presented in 
alternatives 2 and 3. A comprehensive financial and technical 
assistance program will provide more opportunities for the community to 
accomplish preservation and education efforts within the park and 
surrounding community. A strong partnership between all entities will 
help ensure good communication and effective decision making regarding 
the highest and best use of available funds and expertise. And, a 
strong NPS presence will show Federal commitment to and leadership in 
resource preservation and management. The NPS acquisition program will 
result in additional protection of structures and landscapes. The 
emphasis on preserving and adaptively using the many historic 
structures limits the future need for significant new development and 
natural resource disturbance.

Measures To Minimize Environmental Harm

    All practicable measures to avoid or minimize environmental impacts 
that could result from implementation of the selected action have been 
identified and incorporated in the selected action. These measures are 
presented in the FGMP/EIS. However, due to the programmatic nature of 
the general management plan, specific implementation projects will be 
reviewed as necessary for compliance with the National Historic 
Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, and 
other applicable Federal and State laws and regulations prior to 
project clearance and implementation. Specific measures to minimize 
environmental harm will be included in implementation plans called for 
(as necessary) by the FGMP/EIS. These plans include: a historic 
resource study, a cultural landscape report, historic structure 
reports, an ethnographic assessment, a resource management plan, 
development concept plans, schematic design documents, archeological 
surveys, a land protection plan, level 1, 2, and 3 hazardous substances 
surveys, and a boundary study.
    The following measures will be implemented by Keweenaw National 
Historical Park to avoid or minimize environmental harm as a result of 
implementing the selected action, or to enhance protection of resources 
on the Keweenaw Peninsula.

    &lt;bullet&gt; Keweenaw National Historical Park will work 
cooperatively with the advisory commission, state, county, township, 
city, and village agencies, community organizations, and individual 
landowners to preserve and manage resources and provide for public 
use. Key to this is assisting local jurisdictions in establishing 
local historic districts and preservation ordinances. Ordinances 
would promote both preservation of historic properties and 
compatible design of new development in the park. This will lead to 
enhanced protection of landscapes and structures, as well as to 
enhanced enjoyment of these resources by the public.
    &lt;bullet&gt; The park will establish preservation financial 
assistance grants to encourage preservation projects by private 
property owners. Grant criteria would include adherence to the 
Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic 
    &lt;bullet&gt; The park will engage in additional study, data 
collection, and monitoring, especially of archeological and 
ethnographic resources, cultural landscapes, historic structures, 
and visitor uses to provide the knowledge base needed to make 
informed decisions for the long-term protection and preservation of 
park resources.
    &lt;bullet&gt; The park will acquire and provide appropriate 
architectural treatment and use of some historic structures. 
Treatments will conform to the Secretary of the Interior's 
Standards. Prior to acquisition the resources proposed for 
acquisition will be surveyed to

[[Page 46236]]

determine the nature and extent of hazardous materials 
contamination, if any.
    &lt;bullet&gt; Short- and long-term soil disturbance and vegetation 
loss from construction activities, including parking areas, 
pulloffs, walkways, utility lines, public facilities, and landscape 
restoration, will be minimized through appropriate erosion control 
and revegetation and placement of facilities on previously disturbed 
areas wherever possible.

Public Involvement

    Public scoping meetings for the general management plan were held 
in the Keweenaw area in 1994 and 1995, including meetings with the 
Commission and park partners. A scoping newsletter with comment form 
was distributed in May 1995. Park issues, vision statements, purpose 
and significance statements, and interpretive themes were drafted as 
part of this process.
    In September 1995, a briefing booklet on conceptual planning 
alternatives was distributed for review and comment, and public 
meetings were held in Houghton, Calumet, Marquette, and Lansing during 
the week of September 12, 1995. In February 1996, meetings and 
briefings were held with members of the advisory commission and park 
partners on the preliminary draft plan. Substantial revisions were made 
per those meetings and a revised preliminary draft plan and 
environmental document was distributed for review during the fall of 
1996. On December 10 and 11, 1996, further meetings were held with the 
advisory commission and other park partners, local agencies, and 
cooperating sites. Substantive comments focused on concern that the 
seriousness of the hazardous materials issue had been overstated and 
presented too negatively; the need to formalize the current informal 
arrangements between the NPS and cooperating sites; and that formal 
recognition and establishment of a workable partnership arrangement was 
needed that did not weaken the authority of the park's advisory 
commission and treated other groups as partners, not as ``friends'' of 
the park.
    Reflecting many revisions in response to comments on the 
preliminary draft, the Draft General Management Plan/Environmental 
Impact Statement was printed and made available to the public on 
September 1, 1997. The official review period closed on October 31, 
1997. Copies were placed on review in local libraries and government 
offices and were mailed primarily to the park's mailing list of 
agencies and organizations. A summary newsletter was distributed to 
others announcing public meetings and the availability of the draft 
document. The first meeting was held at Calumet Elementary on September 
22, 1997 and approximately 35 attended. A second public meeting was 
held on September 23, 1997 at Suomi College in Hancock, with about 15 
attending. During the 60-day public comment period, seven letters were 
received. These letters were reproduced in the final document along 
with agency responses.
    The Final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement 
was made available for a 30-day no-action period on June 19, 1998. 
Approximately 250 copies of the FGMP/EIS were distributed primarily to 
key agencies and organizations. Copies were made available in local 
libraries and government agencies and upon request. The FGMP/EIS 
contains a full summary of the public involvement process and 
substantive comments received.

    Approved: August 13, 1998.
David Given,
Acting Regional Director, Midwest Region, National Park Service.
[FR Doc. 98-23273 Filed 8-28-98; 8:45 am]

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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