October, 2003

To: All Interested Persons
From: Planning Team Leader, Colorado River Management Plan
Subject: Update on the CRMP Planning Process

Grand Canyon National Park is making considerable progress in developing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for revising the park's Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP). We have developed a full range of reasonable draft alternatives (including the current situation which is the No Action alternative), which is now undergoing preliminary impacts analysis. The planning team has carefully considered and addressed input including the following:

* Extensive comments the park received during the public scoping period in 2002,
* Input from the stakeholder workshops and expert panels,
* Consultation with Native American Tribes,
* Interagency consultation,
* Provisions of the 2002 lawsuit settlement agreement,
* Extensive data and other information gathered by the planning team, and
* Laws, policies, and principles guiding plan development (on the CRMP website at www.nps.gov/grca/crmp).

The next steps in the CRMP planning process will include:

* Add mitigation measures to the alternatives, as necessary, to address any major impacts identified in the preliminary impacts analysis. The mitigated alternatives will then undergo additional impacts analysis. All of this is scheduled for completion in early November.
* Review the draft alternatives and draft impacts analysis, make any necessary changes, and select a preferred alternative. The preferred alternative will be the agency's proposal for a revised CRMP; it may be one of the draft alternatives, the No Action alternative, or a new alternative developed during the preferred alternative selection process.
* Publish a Draft CRMP/EIS for public review and comment (after any additional revisions and analysis). We will not know the exact timing for publishing and public review of the Draft CRMP/EIS until the preferred alternative selection process has been completed. Once that process is completed, we will announce the schedule in a note to the CRMP email list, and on the CRMP website. When the Draft CRMP/EIS is published, the park will issue a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register, a press release, and a note to everyone on the CRMP mailing list. We have begun planning for extensive public review opportunities, including public meetings, and we will keep you informed as we develop the details.

Please send any comments or questions concerning this note or the process to grca_crmp@nps.gov (please be sure to use an underscore to make grca_crmp). Thank you for your interest in Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River Management Plan.

Rick Ernenwein
CRMP Planning Team Leader