Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking public input on a Statement of Findings for Wetlands and Floodplains in the Sugarlands area near Park Headquarters. The study was completed to assess potential impacts associated with a proposal to construct new administrative, operational, and maintenance facilities in the area. The deadline to submit comments is Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
The park proposes to construct a new Park Headquarters Annex to address workspace deficiencies in the historic Park Headquarters building and the Little River Ranger Station. A new Sugarlands Operations and Maintenance Complex is also proposed to replace outmoded and inadequate facilities within the existing Sugarlands Maintenance Area. All proposed construction would be within the footprint of the existing Sugarlands Maintenance Area, which consists of about 10 acres of developed and previously disturbed land, preventing the need for any additional development on undisturbed lands. Existing, outmoded buildings would be removed to accommodate the new construction.
The Statement of Findings acknowledges the proposed project would affect a small wetland (0.004 acres) and the West Prong Little Pigeon River floodplain. The Statement of Findings documents compliance with the National Park Service’s Director’s Order 77-1: Wetland Protection, Procedural Manual 77-1: Wetland Protection, Director’s Order 77-2: Floodplain Management, and Procedural Manual 77-2: Floodplain Management. The document identifies mitigation measures for unavoidable adverse effects to the small wetland and mitigation measures to reduce flood risks to human health and safety, property, and floodplain values.
For more details and to access the Statement of Findings, please visit https://parkplanning.nps.gov/SugarlandsConstruction. Comments may be submitted online or by postal mail:
- Online (the preferred method) at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/SugarlandsConstruction. Select “Open for Comment” on the left menu bar, open the Sugarlands Wetlands and Floodplains Statement of Findings folder, and click on the green “Comment Now” button to access the online commenting form; or
- By Postal Mail at:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Sugarlands Wetlands and Floodplains Statement of Findings
107 Park Headquarters Rd.
- Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Written comments on the proposed projects must be submitted online or postmarked by Jan. 9, 2022 to be considered.
- National Park Service release