Development Concept Plan, Amendment To The General Management Plan, Crater Lake National Park, Mazama Campground/Rim Village Corridor
PROPOSED ACTION AND FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
Reasons Why the Proposed Action Will Not Have a Significant Effect on the Human Environment
Crater Lake Ecosystem – Protection of Crater Lake will be enhanced with the reduced potential for pollutants from wastewater, automobiles, and snowplowing to enter the lake ecosystem.
Natural Environment – Existing development at the Rim Village is spread over approximately 32 acres. The proposed development in the Rim Village will encompass approximately 12 acres, allowing restoration of approximately 20 acres to more natural conditions. The number of structures will be reduced from over 30 existing in 1984 to five, including four existing structures and one new structure. Localized impacts from occasional visitor use will continue in these restored areas; the redesign of the village will concentrate most use in areas designed to handle heavy use. Development will, for the most part, occur in currently or previously disturbed areas, requiring little disturbance of existing vegetation. Short stretches of new access roads may cross undisturbed areas. New and improved access roads may require the removal of some mature mountain hemlocks. The exact number cannot be determined until a final alignment has been established.
The expanded cabin development at Mazama will encompass approximately 20-25 acres, with +3 acres removed from biological productivity. Selective tree removal will be required. There will be localized impacts to the remaining acreage due to visitor use, with increased tree mortality in the mature forest and limited successful plant reproduction in areas of concentrated use.
The proposed plan will not affect any known endangered or threatened species. Water sources will not be adversely affected. The project will not affect any wetlands, and it is not located within the 100-year or 500-year floodplain.
Wildlife that do not adapt to human activities will be displaced with the expanded development at Mazama, additional development in Munson Valley, and relocation of development in the Rim Village. Restoration of +20 acres of the Rim Village to more natural conditions will provide some additional wildlife habitat.
The increase in overnight capacity and employees will increase water consumption and wastewater treatment requirements. Existing water supplies appear more than adequate to meet the demand. Existing wastewater treatment facilities in Munson Valley and near the Mazama Campground were originally designed for future expansion. These lagoon systems will be able to meet the demand when improvements are completed.
Air quality will improve in the Rim Village with the reduction of vehicle movement due to the elimination of over 6,000 linear feet of roads and parking strips and the development of central parking areas. The additional development at Mazama will increase localized air pollution, particularly at arrival and departure times. Relocation of the gas station and additional employee travel to the gas station and places of work will result in a slight increase in traffic. There will be localized, short-term deterioration of air quality due to construction throughout the park.
Cultural Environment – The rehabilitation of Crater Lake Lodge and its continued use for overnight lodging will have a long-term beneficial impact on that structure. The removal or relocation of the stone comfort station, considered to be eligible to the National Register, will have an impact on that structure. Full consultations have been held with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation during the development of the plan, in accordance with the programmatic memorandum of agreement. Those consultations will be completed prior to implementation of the plan.
No impact will occur to known archeological resources. A site-specific archeological survey will be conducted and clearance obtained prior to any ground-disturbing actions.
Socioeconomic Environment – The regional/local economy and the Oregon tourism industry will benefit from the recommended plan. There will be no closure of visitor services during the implementation period. Construction activities will benefit the local economy over the short term. Upon completion, the year-round operation and increased lodging capacity will benefit the regional/local economy through increased employment, sales tax revenues, and expenditures by the concessioner for supplies and services.