Winter – 15 Chapter 5. Environmental Assessment – PURPOSE AND NEED

Draft Winter Use Plan, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1994

 Chapter 5. Environmental Assessment


The purpose of this environmental assessment is to identify and evaluate environmental impacts associated with implementation of the winter use plan and alternatives. With the exception of frontcountry camping, the winter use plan proposes to maintain existing levels and locations of winter use activities in Crater Lake National Park. It is not anticipated that the winter use plan will cause environmental impacts within the park or on adjacent U.S. Forest Service land. The detail of discussion for each environmental element in each alternative is commensurate with the level of impact anticipated. Any unforeseen impacts will be addressed and mitigated through the ongoing planning process.

This environmental assessment was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act Guideline NPS-12, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. Environmental elements addressed in this environmental assessment are

  • water resources,

  • wildlife,

  • air quality,

  • soils and vegetation,

  • threatened and endangered species,

  • cultural resources,

  • noise, and

  • recreation.


Four alternative winter use scenarios were developed. The alternatives describe varying levels of use for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and overnight camping. A description of the alternatives follows:

Alternative 1 – Winter Use Plan (Preferred Alternative)


Under this alternative, the current snowmobile/snowcoach route within the park will remain between the north entrance and North Junction. No changes to existing snowmobile routes will occur.

Cross-Country Skiing

Under this alternative, ungroomed cross-country skiing opportunities within the park will remain unchanged. The existing marked trail system will be maintained, and unrestricted cross-country skiing will continue throughout the park.


Guided interpretive snowshoe walks will continue. However, the number and frequency of snowshoe walks could change based on funding and public demand.

Overnight Camping – Frontcountry

Winter frontcountry camping will be prohibited in the park. Those visitors wanting to camp overnight will be referred to year-round private facilities outside park boundaries.