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Public meetings set to discuss future of Lake Mead wilderness

The National Park Service is holding three public meetings to present preliminary alternatives to the Wilderness Management Plan at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

One of the meetings will be in Boulder City, from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 12 at the library at 701 Adams Blvd.

Others are scheduled 4-6 p.m. Feb. 11 at James Gibson Library, 100 W. Lake Mead Parkway, Henderson, and 4-6 p.m. Feb. 13 at Mohave Community College, Room 210, 3400 Arizona 95, Bullhead City, Ariz.

The Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 designated more than 185,000 acres within Lake Mead National Recreation Area as wilderness and as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which was signed into law in 1964 to protect some of America’s iconic wilderness landscapes. Wilderness areas are managed by encouraging primitive recreation, minimal tool allowances and enhancing the naturalness of an area. At Lake Mead, people are welcome to hike, camp, hunt, fish and horseback ride in wilderness areas with minor restrictions, using Leave No Trace principles.

The draft wilderness management plan and environmental impact statement present and analyze three alternatives for future management and use of eight wilderness areas in the park and on adjacent Bureau of Land Management lands. The alternatives vary primarily in the level of public access and degree of management.

Under Alternative A, no action would be taken. Alternative B, the Park Service’s preferred alternative, focuses on protecting the character of the wilderness areas while providing a few more opportunities for access into several areas. Alternative C provides a higher level of access and visitor use while still protecting the overall character of the wilderness area.

A full description of the plans will be available at all meetings and is available for review online at http://bit.ly/1d05Vbf. Comments may be submitted via the website. Written comments should be mailed to Lake Mead National Recreation Area Wilderness Management Plan, National Park Service, Denver Service Center — PDS, P.O. Box 25287, Denver, CO 80225. Comments must be received by March 23.

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