BOULDER CITY, Nevada – Lake Mead National Recreation Area officials are completing a new planning initiative so decisions are in place regarding the suitability of the continued use of existing Lake Mead marinas, launch ramps and other visitor facilities, should water levels decrease below 1,050 feet.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been operating under a Low Water Amendment to its General Management Plan since 2005 because of persistent drought that has lowered the water level of Lake Mead.
The current plan addresses management down to a lake elevation of 1,050 feet. The current water elevation at Lake Mead is 1,092 feet. Bureau of Reclamation projections over the next 24 months suggest levels could decline to 1,068 feet.
An environmental assessment is being prepared for a second GMP Amendment to guide operations down to a lake elevation of 950 feet. There are no projections that indicate the lake will reach 950 feet, but park officials are preparing the planning document to identify steps necessary for continued operation at each of the lake’s access sites at various elevations. The location and size of lake access facilities will be consistent with the zoning and density goals and the objectives of the Lake Management Plan.
The EA will provide a decision-making framework that analyzes all reasonable alternatives to meet the objectives of the proposal; evaluate potential issues and impacts to resources and values; and identify mitigation measures to lessen the degree or extent of these impacts.
Because public participation is essential to the success of the planning process, the National Park Service encourages the public to comment during the 30-day public scoping period.
Comments and recommendations regarding the scope of the environmental assessment will be accepted through June 13, 2014. They may be submitted by U.S. Mail to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Compliance Office, 601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV 89005 or online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/.