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Death Valley National Park: Record of decision issued for plan

The National Park Service announces the availability of the record of decision for the Saline Valley Warm Springs management plan and environmental impact statement, Death Valley National Park announced.

The record of decision outlines the agency’s actions for managing visitor use, natural resources, cultural resources, and facilities at this backcountry site, the park said in a June 17 news release.

The selected alternative will allow for the continued recreational use of the warm springs, while balancing the protection of natural resources and historic and ethnographic values. The selected alternative incorporates community engagement through memorandums of understanding with interested organized groups.

The Saline Valley Warm Springs is in a remote northwest corner of Death Valley National Park, 35 miles from the closest paved road. The springs have been important to the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe since time immemorial. Recreational users developed soaking tubs and art installations starting in the 1950s.

The site was managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management until it was transferred to the National Park Service with the California Desert Protection Act in 1994.

The National Park Service started working on a management plan for the site in 2012. Inyo County, the BLM, and the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe participated in the plan as cooperating agencies. Several organizations were heavily involved in providing comments, including the Saline Preservation Association and Recreation Aviation Foundation.

The National Park Service posted the completed the Saline Valley Warm Springs management plan and environmental impact statement on May 10. The record of decision was the formal approval of the plan and made it effective as of June 14. The plan/environmental impact statement, record of decision and other reference documents can be found on the web at parkplanning.nps.gov/SalineValleyWarmSprings

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