The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of the Final Archeological Resources Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (Final Plan/EIS), Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, North Dakota.
The NPS announces the availability of the Final Plan/EIS. This process has been conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 United States Code 4321 et seq.) and the regulations of the US Department of the Interior (43 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] part 46). The purpose of the plan is to provide a management framework for proactive, sustainable archeological resource protection for the next 30 years. The NPS has identified four major threats to the park's archeological resources: Riverbank erosion, burrowing mammals, vegetation encroachment and the location of park infrastructure. Over the past few decades, village remnants and archeological sites adjacent to the Knife River have experienced measurable erosion. In addition, northern pocket gophers and the encroachment of woody and overgrown vegetation have displaced soil and artifacts from chronologically stratified deposits. Under the preferred alternative, these threats would be addressed following an adaptive management framework designed to detect changes to important indicators and provide park managers tools to manage them.
The preferred alternative also calls for the relocation of the park maintenance facility. The maintenance facility is located on the edge of the Big Hidatsa Village site, a designated National Historic Landmark and sacred site of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation). If off-site space is available and cost effective, the maintenance facility would be relocated outside the park. If suitable property outside the park is unavailable or cost prohibitive the NPS intends to relocate and construct the maintenance facility within the park.