Bandelier Seeking Public Review of Environmental Assessment Project

Frijoles Canyon. Courtesy/NPS


The National Park Service (NPS) is asking for public review input of their Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project “Replace Frijoles Canyon Section of Primary and Secondary Electrical Systems” at Bandelier National Monument.

The project’s purpose project is to provide the monument with reliable electrical systems that comply with county and federal regulations, can be readily serviced,  and are inconspicuous on the landscape.

The monument’s current electrical systems require updates in order to comply with code requirements related to visitor and employee safety. They have exceeded their 30 to 40-year life cycle, and have a high failure potential. They also are undersized for meeting present and projected future needs.

These systems service the Frijoles Canyon section of the monument, including the Visitor Center, concessions operations, museum storage, and staff housing, and extend through the Civilian Conservation Corps Historic District National Historic Landmark.

The EA examines three alternatives. Alternative A calls for no action. Alternative B involves burying new utilities, in conduit, in trenches along the Entrance Road; this is the alternative preferred by the NPS. Alternative C would involve horizontal directional drilling (HDD) from the mesa top to the Frijoles Canyon developed area. Utilities would then be installed by trenching within the developed area. The NPS has identified Alternative B as their preferred alternative because it best meets the project’s purpose and need for action, while protecting and preserving the monument’s natural and cultural resources.

Ongoing participation by the public is very important to the success of this project. Information about the project and the EA will be posted on the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: starting May 19, 2014. Everyone with thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the project is encouraged to comment electronically via that NPS PEPC website, or mail comments to:

Superintendent Jason Lott
Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road
Los Alamos, NM 87544-9508

Comments will be most useful if received by June 22, 2014. Before including address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in messages, commenters should be aware that the entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publically available at any time. Although it can be requested that personal identifying information be withheld from public review, it cannot be guaranteed that it will be possible.

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