Hwy 62 – 69 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES – ALTERNATIVE A: NO ACTION

Rehabilitation of Highway 62 West, Crater Lake National Park, Klamath County, Oregon

 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES

ALTERNATIVE A: NO ACTION

This section evaluates the potential impacts of the no-action alternative.

Biotic Communities

Vegetation

Under the no-action alternative, impacts to vegetation associated with the existing Highway 62 West corridor would result from continued highway maintenance activities. Maintenance activities would occasionally remove vegetation from road shoulders as they are regraded for safety or bladed during snow removal. Vegetation near the highway would be subject to breakage under the deep snow removed from the road surface and deposited adjacent to the highway. There would be no change to biotic communities from the no-action alternative; however, the existing condition constitutes a localized, long-term, negligible, and adverse effect to vegetation.

Wildlife

Under the no-action alternative, impacts to wildlife associated with the existing Highway 62 West corridor would result from continued traffic on the highway. Wildlife species crossing this highway would be subject to injury and death due to collision with vehicles. Some sensitive wildlife species would probably avoid the highway due to vehicle noise, motion, and human presence, or would only pass through the area when traffic had abated. There would be no change to biotic communities from the no-action alternative; however, the existing condition constitutes a localized, long-term, negligible, and adverse effect to wildlife.

Cumulative Impacts. Past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions include fire management using prescribed burning and construction projects related to waterlines and lagoons in Munson Valley. Prescribed burns would emulate a natural occurrence under controlled conditions that would result in short-term, adverse impacts to vegetation, individual wildlife, and habitat; however, the long-term effect from prescribed burns would be beneficial as the health of the plant communities would improve, and habitat would be more diverse for wildlife. Construction in the Munson Valley would result in temporary to long-term adverse effects on biotic communities on a localized site. This alternative would contribute negligibly to the cumulative impacts on biotic communities.

Conclusion. There would be a continuing impact to vegetation invading onto and growing adjacent to road shoulders and wildlife in general due to vehicle collisions resulting from the no-action alternative. The impacts would be limited to vegetation and wildlife habitat adjacent to highway and parking lot surfaces and considered local, long term, negligible, and adverse. The cumulative effect of the no-action alternative would be short and long term, negligible, and adverse to vegetation and wildlife resources.

Because there would be no major adverse impacts to a resource or value whose conservation is (1) necessary to fulfill specific purposes identified in the park’s establishing legislation, (2) key to the natural or cultural integrity of the park or to opportunities for enjoyment of the park, or (3) identified as a goal in the park’s General Management Plan or other relevant National Park Service planning documents, there would be no impairment of park resources or values related to biotic communities at Crater Lake National Park.

 

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