The National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey invite public comment on an assessment of the environmental effects of a proposal to install a new wireless tower in Crater Lake National Park. The public comment period is July 28 through August 28, 2011.

The U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS/CVO) is proposing to install a new wireless tower within Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake is a potentially active volcano. Monitoring volcanoes requires sensitive instruments to be placed on the volcano, data from which need to be transmitted to a volcano observatory for scientific analysis. Typically, monitoring data are transmitted via radios, phone lines, and Internet from instruments installed on a volcano to scientific facilities for processing and analysis. Unfortunately, the park’s current data communication infrastructure cannot support the additional requirements needed to telemeter the volcanic monitoring data out of the Park to the USGS/CVO in Vancouver, Wash. The installation and operation of the communication tower will provide the necessary infrastructure to enable scientists from the USGS/CVO to remotely monitor, analyze and interpret all seismic activity within the Park from USGS/CVO.

The U.S. Geological Survey has completed a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) on this project. We are soliciting public comments on this assessment. To review the EA, visit the Crater Lake National Park website at www.nps.gov/crla/parkmgmt/planning.htm. Copies are also available for review at Crater Lake National Park and at public libraries in Klamath Falls and Medford, Oregon. Additionally, you may review project information and submit comments at the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov.

Comments on this assessment are welcome and may be posted directly on the PEPC website. Written comments may be sent directly to:
Benjamin Pauk
U.S. Geological Survey, Cascades Volcano Observatory
1300 SE Cardinal Court, Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683

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