After more than 75 years—many of them passed as the most visited unit of the National Park System—the Blue Ridge Parkway has announced the release of its very first Final General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.
The resulting final document destined to guide the Parkway’s management for the next twenty-plus years is now available for review on the National Park Service website.
The Parkway’s previously announced and widely reviewed Draft General Management Plan closed for comments on December 16th, 2011. After that the park’s managers, based in Asheville, NC, weighed comments from the public and other interested agencies and parties and made their final decisions.
The Parkway’s news release said the final document is “a culmination of a great deal of time, energy, and input.” The “plan provides comprehensive guidance for perpetuating natural systems, preserving cultural resources, and providing opportunities for high-quality visitor experiences.”
Anyone interested in reviewing the final document can glimpse the issues involved in the planning process and its outcome with a review of this earlier National Parks Traveler article. The 654-page Park Service draft plan behind that article, and the new final document, is still available for review on the Web.