Lakeside Lodge Decision Notice by sofiaie

VIEWS: 17 PAGES: 21

									                            DECISION NOTICE
                                         AND
          FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
                                          FOR

               2005 MASTER DEVELOPMENT PLAN
             HIGH PLAINS RESORT & MARINA, INC.
                       LAKESIDE LODGE RESORT
                               USDA Forest Service
                           Bridger-Teton National Forest
                              Pinedale Ranger District
                            Sublette County, Wyoming

I. INTRODUCTION

High Plains Marina’s initial proposed Master Development Plan (MDP) for Lakeside
Lodge was first presented to the public for comment in 2001. In May, 2004, an
Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzing High Plains Marina’s original proposed MDP
and several alternatives was released to the public for review and comment. A
subsequent Decision Notice, signed on December 13, 2004, selected a combination of
Alternatives 3 and 4 of the 2004 EA. This Decision was appealed and remanded back to
the Bridger-Teton National Forest for re-evaluation in March of 2005.

In 2005, the Forest Service worked with High Plains Marina to develop a new MDP
proposal with a lower level of development than the original MDP proposed in 2001,
based on current and projected public need as well as social and environmental issues
identified in the 2004 assessment process. A new EA for the 2005 MDP for Lakeside
Lodge was released for public review and comment on December 29, 2005.

II. DECISION

Based on my review of the 2005 Environmental Assessment (EA) for this project, which
includes additional analysis completed in cooperation with many individuals and
agencies, as well as comments received during the 30-day public comment period for the
completed 2005 EA, it is my decision to select Alternative 2, as specifically described in
the EA, with the modifications identified in Section III of this document.




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III. MODIFICATIONS TO ALTERNATIVE 2

  A. Actions Modified from the 2005 MDP EA, Alternative 2: The following
  actions have been modified from the 2005 EA to read as follows:

     1. Under Proposed New Facilities: Item number 9 is amended to read: “A
        maximum of 10 boats or boat trailers will be authorized to be parked near the
        Maintenance/Utility building during the summer season. No boats or trailers,
        other than those owned by the resort and stored inside the maintenance
        building, will be authorized to remain within the resort permit area during the
        winter.”

     2. Under General Character and Layout of the Resort: Paragraph 3 is
        amended as follows: “Boat slips will generally be geared to average sized sail
        and motor boats. Several slips will accommodate boats up to 26 feet in
        length. No more than 10 boats or boat trailers will be parked within the
        permit area during the summer months. No boats or trailers, other than those
        owned by the resort and stored inside the maintenance building, will be
        authorized to remain within the resort permit area during the winter.”

     3. Under Phasing of the Proposed Improvements:
        a. The following two items have been added to Phase 1:
           1) The Monitoring Plan, including establishment of monitoring wells,
               will be initiated prior to new construction being authorized.
           2) Removal of the bathhouse and three older duplex log cabins.
        b. Item #6 is amended to read: “Existing campground sites will be removed
           and this area restored by September 30, 2008.”

  B. Maximum Stay Limit for Cabins and Lodge:

     This section is amended to read: “The resort is intended for use by Forest visitors
     rather than for permanent residence for persons not associated with the resort’s
     operations. For this reason, at least 50 percent of the cabins and lodging space
     will be reserved for use by visitors planning to stay for 16 days or less. In
     addition, no lodging will be provided for individuals beyond a 30-day period
     without written authorization from the District Ranger.”

  C. Mitigations Added:

  1. The Pavilion and 25-unit lodge will be located a minimum of 100 feet from the
     shoreline.

  2. The new cabins on the west side of the permit area will be located a minimum of
     50 feet from the shoreline and will not be constructed until adequate screening is
     established between the resort permit boundary and the neighboring Recreation
     Residence boundary.




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  3. Surfaced sidewalks linking the cabins, restaurant, pavilion, and lodge will be
     provided to limit the potential for soil compaction and sediment delivery to
     Fremont Lake.

  4. The existing boat launch site located east of the current Lakeside restaurant will
     be removed or surfaced with cement or pavement, with proper drains provided, to
     eliminate sediment delivery to Fremont Lake.

  5. Removal and restoration of the 20-unit campground facility will be completed by
     September 30, 2008. After this time, no travel trailers or Recreation Vehicles
     (RV’s) will be authorized within the permit area except under written
     authorization of the District Ranger, such as during construction of facilities.
     Written authorization will be provided by letter or through the Annual Operating
     Plan for Lakeside Lodge.


IV. SUMMARY OF ACTIONS APPROVED WITH THIS DECISION

  A. Existing Facilities to be Retained:
     1. Restaurant: 3,800 sq. ft., 2-story w/outside deck; stabilized and renovated in
        1998.
     2. Six Duplex Log Cabins: 875 sq. ft. (25’x35’); approved for construction from
        1998-2003 to replace previously existing 10-unit motel.
     3. Marina: with 31 boat slips, refueling dock, three rock breakwaters, and boat
        ramp.
     4. Septic System and Drain Field: constructed from 1994 to 1998 to address
        health and safety issues.

  B. Existing Facilities to be Removed:
     1. Utility/Maintenance Building (1,000 sq. ft.)
     2. Bathhouse (450 sq. ft.)
     3. Three older Duplex Log Cabins
     4. Twenty Campground Sites (presently located on south shore of Fremont Lake)
     5. Existing Boat Trailer Storage Site (presently located on southeast corner of
        permit area)

  C. New Facilities to be Constructed:
     1. Four Duplex Log Cabins: (40’X40’).
     2. Six Duplex Log Cabins: (25’X35’); includes three to replace the existing older
        cabins to be removed.
     3. 25-Unit Lodge: (160’X 60’); 2-story; log or log-sided.
     4. Restaurant: Expansion from the existing 3,800 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft.; two-story
        log building.
     5. Addition of 39 Boat Slips with removable Floating Breakwater




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   6. Addition of a Pavilion: 1,500 sq. ft. w/covered roof to accommodate group
       picnics, weddings, and other group events.
   7. Adequate access roads and parking for approved facilities.
   8. Maintenance/Utility Building: 2,100 sq. ft.; two-story log or log-sided
       building; replaces old 1,000 sq. ft. Maintenance/Utility building.
   9. A maximum of 10 boats or boat trailers will be authorized to be parked near
       the Maintenance/Utility building during the summer season. No boats or
       trailers, other than those owned by the resort and stored inside the
       maintenance building, will be authorized to remain within the resort permit
       area during the winter.
   10. Septic System: replacement of the three older septic systems so that all septic
       is pumped to leach fields adjacent to the Fremont Lake Road, approximately
       500 feet from Fremont Lake, and all systems are equipped with alarms and
       automatic shut-offs to meet or exceed DEQ regulations.

D. Maximum Capacity of the Existing and Alternative 2:

   The following table compares the estimated existing and proposed capacity of the
   Lakeside Lodge for Alternative #2:

   Resort Facilities #People/Unit        Existing Capacity      Alt. #2 Capacity
   Cabins (25’X35’) 4 people/cabin       (9x4) 36 people        (12x4) 48 people
   Cabins (40’X40’) 4 people/cabin       (0)                    ( 4x4) 16 people
   Lodge (25-rooms) 2 people/room        (0)                    (25x2) 50 people
   Campground sites 2 people/unit        (20x2) 40 people       (0)
   Restaurant*                           _____ 35 people                50 people
          Total People At One Time:           111 people              164 people*

   *Note: The above figures are provided as estimates of the potential maximum
   number of people at one time at the resort. Restaurant capacity often will include
   people staying overnight in the resort’s cabins, or lodge, and/or people utilizing
   the pavilion for a scheduled event. Observations also show that clients of
   Lakeside Lodge obtaining lodging or boat rentals generally spend most of their
   days well away from the permitted area, returning to the lodge at night, often after
   the restaurant is already closed. It is therefore unlikely that 164 people would be
   at this Resort at one time.

E. Operating Season:

   Summer/Fall Season: The resort will be authorized to open with full service
   seven days per week from May 1st to October 31st.

   Winter/Spring Season: The resort will be authorized to provide reduced services
   from November 1st to April 30th. The facilities to remain open during this
   timeframe are as follows:
      1. Restaurant – Open 4-5 days per week.




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      2. Overnight Lodging (Lodge/Cabins): 50% of the overnight lodging would
         be open 7 days per week.
      3. Ice Fishing Derby- An annual ice fishing derby sponsored through the
         Lakeside Lodge Special Use Permit will continue to be authorized in early
         March as long as no significant resource impacts occur as a result of this
         event. An Annual Operating Plan specifically addressing issues associated
         with this event will be approved annually.

F. Maximum Stay Limit for Cabins and Lodge:

   The resort is intended for use by Forest visitors rather than for permanent
   residence for persons not associated with the resort’s operations. For this reason,
   at least 50 percent of the cabins and lodging space will be reserved for use by
   visitors planning to stay for 16 days or less. In addition, no lodging will be
   provided for individuals beyond a 30-day period without written authorization
   from the District Ranger.

G. General Character and Layout of the Resort:

   All buildings will be constructed of log, stone, and/or other natural materials. The
   cabins, lodge and other buildings will be built in several phases over the next ten
   to fifteen years. Each facility will incorporate the general character of the
   present-day log cabins. The area surrounding the facilities will be landscaped
   with grass, shrubs and trees to provide screening from the lake and road. Natural
   vegetation will be retained and native vegetation used where possible.

   Roadways and parking areas will be centrally located to service the greatest
   number of facilities while altering the minimum amount of land. Granite
   boulders, trees, shrubs, and other landscaping will be used to minimize the visual
   impact of roadways and parking areas. Drainage structures and other measures
   will be placed where needed to prevent erosion on-site.

   Boat slips will generally be geared to average sized sail and motor boats. Several
   slips will accommodate boats up to 26 feet in length. No more than 10 boats or
   boat trailers will be parked within the permit area during the summer months. No
   boats or trailers, other than those owned by the resort and stored inside the
   maintenance building, will be authorized to remain within the resort permit area
   during the winter.

   All utilities will be underground (unless resource issues dictate otherwise) and all
   disturbed areas will be reclaimed and landscaped as development progresses.

H. Phasing of the Proposed Improvements:

   Facility construction and expansion of operations will proceed in phases over a
   15-year period. The expansion will be based on public demand, resource




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       conditions such as successful establishment of vegetative screening, and financial
       considerations. An Annual Operating Plan will identify which improvements are
       authorized each year. The total completion of all approved facilities is expected
       to take up to 15 years. The general priorities and sequence of expansion are as
       follows:

       Phase #1:
       1. Initiation of the Monitoring Plan, including establishment of monitoring wells.
       2. Landscape Management Plan & Erosion Control Plan initiated. Screening
           trees and shrubs established along permit boundaries as well as within the
           permit area, with priority assigned to visually screen new cabins and dry boat
           storage site.
       3. Expanded sewage and utility system.
       4. Removal of bathouse and three older duplex log cabins.
       5. Dry boat storage and trailer parking area moved.
       6. Existing campground sites will be removed and this area restored by
           September 30, 2008.
       7. Parking areas expanded.
       8. Six duplex log cabins constructed.
       9. Boat slips expanded.
       10. Removal of old Maintenance Building and construction of new
           Maintenance/Utility Building.

       Phase #2:
       1. Construction of 25-unit Lodge.
       2. Construction of two duplex log cabins.

       Phase #3:
       1. Restaurant expansion.
       2. Pavilion construction.
       3. Construction of remaining two duplex log cabins.



V. RATIONALE FOR THE DECISION

In making the decision to choose Alternative 2 with modifications, I considered
information disclosed in the EA, U.S. Forest Service Manual (FSM) direction, Bridger-
Teton National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (BTNF Forest Plan), and
public as well as Federal , State, and local agency comments on the 2005 EA. A full
copy of public comments received and responses to these comments is attached to this
Decision Notice. Applicable direction from FSM 2300 and the BTNF Forest Plan that
were utilized in choosing Alternative 2, and adding modifications to this alternative,
include the following:




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A. FOREST SERVICE MANUAL (FSM) 2300 DIRECTION:

 FSM 2340.2 - Privately Provided Recreation Opportunities - Objective: To
 provide, under special use authorization, sufficient, suitable facilities and services that
 supplement or complement those provided by the private sector, State, and local
 government on private land and the Forest Service on National Forest System land to
 meet public needs, as determined through land and resource management planning.

 FSM 2341.3 – Privately Provided Recreation Opportunities - Designing Structures
 and Facilities: Require permit holders to plan and design needed facilities for review
 and approval by the Forest Service. Evaluate design proposals against the following
 standards:
      1. The nature and scope of proposed recreation facilities, services, and activities
          are consistent with direction and decisions made in Forest land and resource
          management plans.
      2. Facilities authorized are of a design that is compatible with or complementary
          to the natural setting.

 FSM 2343.2 – Privately Provided Recreation Opportunities - Marinas: This
 category includes facilities and services to accommodate the boating public at lakes,
 streams, and reservoirs on National Forest System Lands.
      1. Allow holders to provide services needed by the public, including boat rentals,
          boat moorage, fuel and mechanic services, food services, grocery, bait, and
          sporting goods services.

 FSM 2343.3 – Privately Provided Recreation Opportunities - Lodging and
 Overnight Accommodations: This category includes sites and facilities such as
 lodges, hotels, motels, campgrounds, trailer courts and camps, and commercial group
 camps. In addition to the general policies in FSM 2340.3, the following policy applies
 to lodging and overnight accommodations.
       1. Authorize provision of lodging accommodations on National Forest System
          land only where there is a public need for the facilities and where there is no
          suitable private land for such facilities within a reasonable distance.
       2. Require holders to establish guest stay limits of 30 days or less to ensure the
          continuing availability of facilities for public use and to ensure no personal,
          private, or preferential use of authorized facilities, including trailer sites,
          overnight houseboat mooring accommodations, and campsites.

 FSM 2343.71 – Privately Provided Recreation Opportunities - Trailer RV Sites:
 Allow development of recreation vehicle space with attachments for sewage disposal,
 domestic water, and electric power only when there is a public need and the facilities
 cannot be developed on nearby private land.
      1. Allow storage of trailers or other recreation vehicles on National Forest
          System land only at sites remote from communities or available private land.




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B. BTNF FOREST PLAN – MANAGEMENT DIRECTION DFC 9B:

 Desired Condition Class (DFC) 9B – Special Use Recreation Areas:
 The entire Lakeside Lodge Resort permit area lies within Forest Plan DFC 9B. Forest
 Plan direction for this DFC includes the following (also see BTNF Forest Plan, pages
 227-230):

 DFC 9B Theme: An area managed for permitted, private recreation homes, permittees,
 and others offering services to the public, including related roads and sites.

 DFC 9B Experience: Overall, you find many signs of people. But, you see little or no
 evidence of resource development other than recreation. Cabins and buildings used by
 permittees are visible but blend into the surroundings. Roads are generally gravelled,
 but may be paved in higher-use areas. Off-highway vehicle (OHV) use is limited to
 entry and departure routes.

 DFC 9B Management Emphasis: Management emphasis is on summer home groups,
 concession operations, ski areas, lodges, and group camps, and other privately operated
 sites on National Forest System lands and retention of selected sites for future
 operations.

 DFC 9B Recreation Prescription – Opportunities for privately owned facilities are
 continued.

 DFC 9B Privately Owned Facility Standard – A similar architectural theme will be
 followed for all structures within a development.

 DFC 9B Visual Quality Prescription – The Visual Quality Objectives are Partial
 Retention and Modification. Facilities are often dominant, but harmonize and blend
 with the natural setting.

 DFC 9B Facility Safety Standard – Safe drinking water standards just be met at
 facilities with water systems. Facilities will be designed and maintained to meet
 structural and utility safety requirements.


C. BTNF FOREST PLAN – MANAGEMENT DIRECTION DFC 4:

 Desired Condition Class (DFC) 4 – Special Emphasis Area for Municipal Water
 Supply: The Forest Plan includes a Desired Future Condition (DFC) for municipal
 water supply protection, identified as DFC 4 – Special Emphasis Area for Municipal
 Water Supply (BTNF Forest Plan, pages 179-182). This DFC does not apply to the
 Fremont Lake Water Supply and it is unclear why the Forest Plan does not formally
 recognize the Fremont Lake watershed as a Municipal Water Supply. Steps have
 already been taken in the current Forest Plan Revision process to ensure that the




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 Fremont Lake Water Supply is officially recognized and addressed in the next Forest
 Plan Revision, scheduled to be completed in 2008.

 Although the Fremont Lake Municipal Water Supply is not officially recognized in the
 current Forest Plan, the BTNF has actively worked with the Town of Pinedale, EPA,
 DEQ, Town of Pinedale, Sublette County Sanitation Office, and many other agencies
 over the past 13 years to assist in the management and protection of Fremont Lake’s
 water quality. As described in Chapter 4 of the 2005 EA, (page 63), the BTNF
 participated in the development and continues to assist in the implementation of the
 Town of Pinedale’s 1993 Watershed Management Control Plan for Fremont Lake and
 has been working with the Town of Pinedale since 1995 under a Memorandum of
 Understanding specifically to further address water quality retention of Fremont Lake.

D. BASIS FOR SELECTING ALTERNATIVE 2 WITH MODIFICATIONS

  I have a responsibility to ensure that Lakeside Lodge Resort and Marina meets Forest
  Service management direction as closely as possible, with the overall goal to provide
  the public with a safe, high-quality recreation experience while they visit this resort or
  recreate near this resort. I believe that Alternative 2, with modifications, best meets
  current public need while reducing the potential for negative social effects or
  environmental effects to water quality, aesthetics, and soil erosion.

  Alternative 2, with modifications, best meets Forest Plan direction for management of
  DFC 9B lands and Forest Service direction for management of privately owned
  resorts located on National Forest lands as follows:

  1. I feel that the public need for some expansion of facilities at Lakeside Lodge was
     demonstrated through this planning process, including comments received from
     the public regarding this facility expansion proposal. The Forest Plan clearly
     identifies that resorts on the Forest within DFC 9B should be allowed to remain
     and to be expanded if public need is demonstrated. In addition, FSM 2300 clearly
     states that resorts located on National Forest lands should provide “sufficient,
     suitable facilities and services that supplement or complement those provided by
     the private sector, State, and local government on private land and the Forest
     Service on National Forest System land.” I believe that this alternative best meets
     this direction by allowing addition of a lodge and pavilion and modest expansion
     of the cabins, restaurant, and boat facilities.

  2. This Alternative removes the existing 20-unit campground. The Proposed Action
     would have moved the existing 20-unit campground to the southwest corner of the
     permit area, approximately 400 feet from the shoreline. My rationale for
     choosing Alternative 2, which eliminates the campground at Lakeside is as
     follows:

          a. The Proposed Action would have eliminated the potential for accidental
             trailer hook-up spillage from reaching Fremont Lake by moving the




                                            9
          campground further from the shoreline. However, there would still be an
          overall increase in numbers of people at one time and an overall increase
          in total effluent. Alternative 2 best meets public concern regarding the
          degree of resort expansion (number of people at one and total effluent
          discharge) by removing the campground, while still allowing for expanded
          development.

       b. The public need for a campground with full hook-ups at Lakeside Lodge
          was not fully demonstrated. There are similar commercial sites with
          hook-ups available in the Pinedale area and more of these sites have been
          constructed since the EA was mailed to the public for comment in
          December, 2005. There are also ample campgrounds located on the Forest
          at Fremont Lake, Half Moon Lake, and Trails End, all within 15 miles of
          the Town of Pinedale. These campgrounds do not generally fill to
          capacity except during peak holiday weekends. Although these sites do
          not provide full hook-ups, it is the Forest’s overall goal to emphasize
          campgrounds with minimal developments rather than those with full
          hookups.

       c. The desired development theme for Lakeside Lodge, as identified in
          Forest Plan direction for DFC 9B, is a resort with log or log-sided
          facilities of “similar architectural theme” which “are often dominant, but
          harmonize and blend with the natural setting.” The proposed campground
          would likely detract from this theme, as it does now with the existing
          Resort. I also did not find the campground to be “compatible or
          complementary to the natural setting” as identified in FSM 2341.3.

       d. The campground would have been highly visible from the main access
          road to the south shore of Fremont Lake and the CCC Ponds recreation
          area. Excessive landscaping and screening would have been necessary to
          reduce the visual impact of a campground at this location. This level of
          landscaping would also require additional water from Fremont Lake for
          irrigation purposes.

3. This Alternative best addresses water quality concerns for Fremont Lake with the
   following actions:
       • Implements a formal Monitoring Plan for resort operations to compliment
          the current Town of Pinedale monitoring program for Fremont Lake.
       • Removes the existing campsites from the lakeshore and requires
          restoration of the campsite area.
       • Implements minimum setback requirements for the new facilities
       • Updates the entire septic system, including moving all leach fields a
          minimum of 400 feet from the lakeshore and implementing measures to
          ensure that sewage is not delivered to Fremont Lake




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           •   Removes or requires surfacing of the existing boat launch within the
               permit area and adds surfaced sidewalks to minimize the potential for
               onsite erosion and resulting sediment delivery to Fremont Lake
           •   Implements the mitigation and monitoring requirements, including the
               Lakeside Lodge SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan). These
               requirements are designed to minimize onsite erosion and sediment
               delivery to Fremont Lake, eliminate the potential for petroleum delivery to
               the lake from parking lots and roads, and to establish procedures and
               responsibilities for monitoring and for prompt remediation in the event of
               a failure in a measure.

   4. This alternative will update and improve infrastructure to address health and
      safety concerns and will increase the Resort’s ability to provide guest facilities
      that meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications.

   5. This alternative improves the viability of the Resort by providing increased
      facilities and a lengthened operating season to generate revenue while minimizing
      negative environmental effects, therefore enabling the Resort to better meet the
      recreational and safety needs of the recreating public at this site.

   6. Adequate landscaping and access road requirements were added to this alternative
      to minimize the effect to the Richard Mathis Recreation Residence located
      adjacent to the Lakeside Lodge permit boundary.

   7. The findings for Threatened and Endangered species was “no effect” for all listed
      species. These findings were presented in a Biological Assessment (BA) to the
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who concurred with these findings.

   8. This Alternative protects Cultural Resources by implementing mitigation and
      monitoring requirements during and after facility construction.


VI. PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

A. 2004 Environmental Assessment for Lakeside Lodge MDP

Public involvement for expansion of facilities at Lakeside Lodge began with public
scoping of Lakeside Lodge’s initial expansion proposal in January, 2001. Twenty-four
written comments were received during this 30-day comment period. A water quality
meeting involving representatives from the Town of Pinedale, EPA, DEQ, Forest
Service, and Lakeside Lodge was held in the spring of 2001. This meeting generated
issues and information used in the 2004 EA and precipitated modifications to the existing
Town of Pinedale’s Watershed Management Plan for Fremont Lake.

A public meeting was held on May 22, 2002 to discuss progress of the analysis for both
the Half Moon Lake Resort MDP EA and the 2004 Lakeside Lodge Resort and Marina




                                            11
MDP EA. Approximately 25 people attended this meeting. Public comments were
received at the meeting and used in the 2004 analysis.

An Environmental Assessment was released for public review and comment to interested
publics and agencies on May 17, 2004. In addition, a public meeting was held during this
comment period on June 1, 2004. Seventy-three written comments were received during
the comment period, including comments received at the public meeting. Twenty-five
written responses were received after the comment period was over. A subsequent
Decision Notice, signed on December 13, 2004, selected a combination of Alternatives 3
and 4 of the 2004 EA. This Decision was appealed and remanded back to the Bridger-
Teton National Forest for re-evaluation in March of 2005, primarily due to insufficient
information regarding water quality issues for Fremont Lake.

B. 2005 Environmental Assessment for Lakeside Lodge MDP

The Forest Service worked with internal and external water quality specialists and High
Plains Marina to develop new alternatives for expansion of Lakeside Lodge during the
spring of 2005. A water quality monitoring meeting was held in 2005, with
representatives and or input provided by the Town of Pinedale, local geologists, USFS,
EPA, DEQ, NRCS, and USGS specialists. Information from this meeting was utilized to
determine what monitoring was occurring on Fremont Lake and what additional
monitoring was needed if expansion of Lakeside Lodge were to be approved. This
information will be utilized to update the existing water-quality monitoring plan for
Fremont Lake, as identified in Monitoring Requirement #1 of the 2005 MDP EA
(attached to this Decision Notice).

On December 29, 2005, the Forest Service released the 2005 Lakeside Lodge MDP EA
for public review and comment. The Proposed Action for this MDP was substantially
smaller than the initial Proposed Action in the 2004 EA. The public was give a 30-day
period to review the 2005 EA and provide comments to the Forest Service. Twenty-eight
comments were received within the 30-day comment period for this EA. Five additional
comments were received after the 30-day comment period. The comments received and
responses are summarized in Appendix B of this Decision Notice.


VII. ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

Three alternatives were considered in the 2005 EA as part of this analysis. The two
alternatives not selected are as follows:

Proposed Action Alternative
The Proposed Action Alternative was a scaled-down version of the original Master
Development Plan submitted by the Resort to the Forest Service and analyzed in the 2004
EA. The Proposed Action in the 2005 EA would have authorized all of the facilities
identified in Alternative 2. In addition, the existing 20-unit campground located near the




                                           12
lakeshore of Fremont Lake would have been moved to the southwest corner of the permit
area, near Fremont Lake Road #749 with the Proposed Action.
Alternative 1-No Action
Under this alternative, developments at the Resort would continue as currently permitted,
subject to meeting basic public health and safety provisions.


VIII. FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT

Based on the interdisciplinary environmental analysis, review of the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) criteria for significant effects, and my knowledge of
the expected impacts, I have determined that this action does not pose a substantial
question of significant effect upon the quality of the human environment. Therefore, an
Environmental Impact Statement is not needed. This determination is based on the
following factors:

   1. In reaching my conclusion of no significant impacts, I recognize that this project
       is likely to have impacts which are perceived as negative as well as positive, but
       none are significant in intensity.
   2. The effects to public health and safety are expected to be of benefit through
       correction of deficiencies in existing facilities and infrastructure and addition of
       ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) facilities.
   3. There are no effects to prime farmlands, wetlands, Wild and Scenic Rivers,
       Wilderness, or ecologically critical areas.
   4. The effects on the quality of the human environment are not likely to be highly
       controversial.
   5. There are no known effects on the human environment that are highly uncertain
       or involve unique or unknown risks.
   6. There is nothing in this decision that is precedent setting for future actions.
   7. There are no known significant cumulative effects between this project and other
       projects implemented or planned in the area separated from the affected area of
       this project.
   8. There are no known cultural resource sites that would be significantly affected by
       this project. A survey and evaluation of the subject area was completed and no
       significant scientific, cultural, or historic resources or objects in or eligible for
       listing in the National Register of Historic Places will be significantly affected.
   9. No threatened, endangered, or sensitive species or their critical habitats are
       affected by this decision. The project file contains the Biological Assessment.
   10. The actions do not violate Federal, State, or local law or requirements imposed for
       the protection of the environment.


IX: FINDING OF CONSISTENCY WITH OTHER LAWS

1990 Bridger-Teton National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan: This
decision is consistent with the 1990 Bridger-Teton National Forest Land and Resource




                                             13
Management Plan (Forest Plan). The project is located completely within an area
designated in the Forest Plan as Desired Condition Class (DFC) 9B. DFC 9B is
identified in the Forest Plan as: “An area managed for permitted, private recreation
homes, permittees, and others offering services to the public, including related roads and
sites. Overall, you find many signs of people. But, you see little or no evidence of
resource development other than recreation. Cabins and buildings used by permittees are
visible but blend into the surroundings. Roads are generally graveled, but may be paved
in higher use areas. Off-highway vehicle use is limited to entry and departure routes.”
(See Forest Plan, Chapter 4, pages 226-231).

Forest Plan Goals and Objectives addressed and met by this decision include:
Goal 2.2 – High-quality developed recreation facilities exist to serve Bridger-Teton
           National Forest visitors.
Objective 2.2 (a) - Retain, improve, and add developed sites.
Objective 2.2 (b) - Design facilities for people of all ages and abilities.

Forest Plan direction for existing Resorts includes efforts to ensure the following:
   • Operation and possible expansion of existing recreation special-use facilities will
       be authorized when needed to meet public demand.
   • All permanent facilities will be designed to minimize adverse visual impacts.
   • Activities are planned to protect the quality of the basic watershed resources of
       soil, water, and air.
   • Facilities are often dominant, but harmonize and blend with the natural setting.
   • Application of similar architectural themes to developments within the Resort
       area.
   • Master Development Plans that guide future development.
   • Vegetation Management Plans that help retain a desired vegetative mix and
       character that fit the natural forest setting.
   • Public need, national forest objectives, and the elimination of discrepancies
       between existing and desired conditions that drive plans for expansion.
   • Facilities will be designed and maintained to meet structural and utility safety
       standards (especially those associated with the Americans With Disabilities Act).
   • Safe drinking water standards must be met at facilities with water systems.

Endangered Species Act of 1973: Biological Evaluations were completed for
Threatened, Endangered, and sensitive plants and animals for the 2004 Lakeside Lodge
MDP EA Proposed Action, which was a much higher level of development than the 2005
EA Proposed Action and Alternative 2. It was determined that there would be no effect
on the threatened grizzly bear and bald eagle, and this action would not jeopardize the
continued existence of the gray wolf. The project therefore will have no effect on
threatened or endangered species. This decision will also not cause or contribute to a
trend towards federal listing for any sensitive species. These findings have been
documented in the Project File as well as in the Biological Assessment submitted to
USFWS. USFWS concurred with the above findings for Threatened and Endangered
species.




                                           14
Clean Air Act: Construction of the facilities, including site preparation and clearing, will
be in accordance with provisions of the Clean Air Act as administered by the Wyoming
Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966: The Forest Service program for
compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act includes locating, inventorying
and nominating all cultural sites that may be directly or indirectly affected by scheduled
activities. A cultural resource survey has been completed for Lakeside Lodge Resort and
Marina by the Bridger-Teton National Forest Archeologist. A report detailing the results
of that inventory has been reviewed by the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office,
(SHPO). There are a total of four sites located adjacent to the resort but no known sites
within the resort permit area. Three of the sites located adjacent to the boundary are
prehistoric and one is historic. These surveys were submitted to the State Historic
Preservation Office (SHPO) resulting in concurrence with the findings of the surveys. A
letter from the SHPO has been received and is in the Project File at the Pinedale Ranger
District Office for review. It is possible that a resource not previously identified may be
found during construction. Should this happen, work would stop immediately pending
notification of the District Ranger and Forest Archaeologist, and documentation would
need to be completed before any additional work was conducted, as noted in the
Mitigation and Monitoring Plan identified in Appendix A, attached.

Floodplain Management (E.O. 11988), Protection of Wetlands (E.O. 11990): This
activity will not impact the functional value of any floodplain as defined by Executive
Order 11988 and will not have negative impacts on wetlands as defined by Executive
Order 11990.

National Forest Management Act/National Environmental Policy Act: Requirements
for forest planning, including opportunities for public participation under 36 CFR 219,
have been met. The EA and related documents, this Decision Notice, and the
Administrative Record prepared for this decision comprise complete adherence to the
NEPA.

Organic Administration Act: This decision complies with the Organic Act, which
provides authority to regulate the use and occupancy of National Forest System Lands
(16 USC 551).

Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, as amended in 1977 and subsequently.
Also known as the federal Clean Water Act and the Wyoming Environmental
Quality Act and Water Quality Rules and Regulations.
The federal Clean Water Act (CWA) provides the structure for regulating pollutant
discharges to waters of the United States. The statute employs a variety of regulatory and
non-regulatory tools to reduce direct pollutant discharges into waterways, reduce non-
point source pollution, finance municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and manage
polluted runoff. These tools are employed to achieve the broader goal of restoring and
maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters so that
they can support "the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and




                                            15
recreation in and on the water." The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
administers the Act, but many permitting, administrative, and enforcement functions are
delegated to state governments.
Wyoming manages surface water quality per sections 35-11-301 through 35-11-312 of
the Wyoming Environment Quality Act (Wyoming Statutes Title 35, Chapter 11). Water
quality standards are defined and enforced via the state Water Quality Rules and
Regulations, Chapter 1 (Wyoming DEQ, 2001). Water quality standards are stated in
terms of numeric standards or in terms of supporting specified beneficial uses for
specified classes of waters.
The Town of Pinedale has historically obtained its water supply from Fremont Lake.
Provisions of the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR) require that surface water be
filtered and disinfected prior to human consumption unless filtration avoidance criteria
are met. The Town of Pinedale has been successful to date in meeting the filtration
avoidance criteria through implementation of agreements between managing agencies,
including the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and development of the 1994 Town of
Pinedale Watershed Management Control Plan, updated in 2005.

Actions, mitigation measures, and monitoring items identified in Alternative 2 of the
Lakeside Lodge MDP EA, as modified in this Decision Notice, were designed to meet or
exceed Forest Plan Standards and Guidelines, Water Quality Best Management Practices
(Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, 2004), applicable Forest Service
manual direction (FSM 2532.02, Water Quality Management), the 1995 MOU between
the Forest Service and the Town of Pinedale, and the 1994 Watershed Management
Control Plan, including its 2005 updates.. With the implementation of Mitigation
Measures, Monitoring Plan, and SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan)
identified for this project, this decision will meet or exceed all applicable State and
Federal water quality standards.

X. IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE

Implementation of decisions made by the Forest Supervisor, which are subject to appeal
pursuant to 36 CFR Part 215, may occur on, but not before, five business days from the
close of the appeal filing period. The appeal filing period closes 45 days after publication
of legal notice of this decision in the Casper Star Tribune published in Casper, Wyoming.
If an appeal is received, implementation may not occur for 15 days following the appeal
decision.




                                            16
RIGHT TO APPEAL

This decision is subject to appeal pursuant to Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations
(CFR) 215. A written notice of appeal must be postmarked or received by the Appeal
Deciding Officer within 45 days of the publication of the legal notice of this decision in
the Casper Star Tribune. The Appeal Deciding Officer is:

                                 Regional Forester
                             USDA Forest Service, Region 4
                                   324 25th street
                                  Ogden, UT 84401

In accordance with 36 CFR Section 215.14, it is the responsibility of those who appeal a
decision to provide the Appeal Deciding Officer sufficient written evidence and rationale
to show why the Responsible Official's decision should be remanded or reversed. The
written notice of appeal must meet the following requirements:

   •   State that the document is a Notice of Appeal filed pursuant to 36 CFR part 215.
   •   List the name, address and, if possible, a telephone number of the appellant.
   •   Identify the decision document by title and subject, date of decision, and name
       and title of the Responsible Official.
   •   Identify the specific change(s) in the decision that the appellant seeks or portion
       of the decision to which the appellant objects.
   •   State how the Responsible Official's decision fails to consider comments
       previously provided either before or during the comment period specified in 36
       CFR 215.6 and, if applicable, how the appellant believes the decision violates
       law, regulation, or policy.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For additional information, contact Cindy Stein at the Pinedale Ranger District, P.O. Box
220, Pinedale, WY 82941, (307-367-4326), (cstein@fs.fed.us).




CAROLE “KNIFFY” HAMILTON                                             DATE
Forest Supervisor




       s/Kniffy Hamilton                                             May 26, 2006




                                            17
                                     Appendix A

             Mitigation Measures & Monitoring Requirements
                                  for
                High Plains Marina, Lakeside Lodge MDP

Mitigation Measures

   1. All structures and facilities will be designed and constructed to blend with the
      surrounding landscape. Location, orientation, architectural style, and construction
      materials will reflect naturally occurring colors, forms, textures, and lines present
      in the natural setting. Only non-reflective materials will be utilized and lighting
      will be shielded whenever possible. Detailed construction plans and site plans
      will be prepared and submitted to the Forest Service for approval on all buildings,
      roads, parking areas, etc. All facilities will be designed to comply with standards
      set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Construction will not
      commence until written approval is granted through an Annual Operating Plan.

   2. All required permits will be obtained from Sublette County, the State of
      Wyoming, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. These permits will include
      Septic Tank/Drain Field Permits, Building Permits, Permit to Construct, Storm
      Water Permit, Section 404 Permit, etc. as determined by each agency to be
      required. Copies of all required permits will be submitted by High Plains Marina
      to the Pinedale Ranger District.

   3. A Landscape Management Plan will be developed by High Plains Marina and
      the Pinedale Ranger District prior to construction of any new facilities. The plan
      will include location and timing of planting proposals, vegetative species to be
      planted, and types and locations of proposed earthen berms. Screening will be in
      place prior to major facility construction, particularly for structures that can be
      viewed from Fremont Lake or from Fremont Lake Road #749. The plan will
      contain the following components:

      •   Natural barriers such as berms with vegetation will be placed along the east
          and west boundaries to help delineate the permit area boundary.
      •   Native vegetation and native seed mixes will be used for all landscaping and
          reclamation seeding needs. Seed mixes will be appropriate for the site and
          will be approved by the Forest Service.
      •   Noxious weeds within the permit area will be reported to the Forest Service
          and removed by the permit holder as soon as detected.
      •   Existing vegetative screening will be protected during and after construction,
          particularly along the lakeshore.
      •   Once established, landscaping vegetation will be protected and maintained by
          the resort to retain visual screening.




                                           18
4. A Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) will be developed by
   High Plains Marina and the Pinedale Ranger District prior to any ground
   disturbing activities. The objective of this plan will be to minimize erosion
   through construction techniques, to maintain any resulting sediment on site, and
   to prevent sediment and other pollutants from reaching Fremont Lake. The
   SWPPP will also describe responsibilities for monitoring and for implementation
   of remediation measures in the event that a protective measure fails, as well as
   actions to be taken in the event of a failure. Techniques for resource protection to
   be used will include stockpiling of existing topsoil for re-vegetation purposes,
   sediment traps, silt fences, water bars, retaining walls, and re-vegetation of
   exposed soils. All exposed soil resulting from construction or other resort-related
   activities will be re-vegetated and necessary drainage or control structures such as
   retaining walls will be constructed as determined necessary. (See Appendix J, of
   the 2005 EA, Draft SWPPP).

5. High Plains Marina will provide a Spill Response Plan, coordinated with the
   Town of Pinedale, to the Pinedale Ranger District as part of its Annual Operating
   Plan. This plan will identify emergency procedures for notification, containment,
   and cleanup for all activities where fuel, oil or any other potentially hazardous
   materials are used. It will also identify the parties responsible for taking certain
   actions.

6. The Lakeside Lodge pet policy will be expanded to exclude pets within 200 feet
   of the south shore of Fremont Lake. All pets within the permit area will be
   required to remain on leash and all refuse and pet waste within the permit area
   will be picked up daily and disposed of in an appropriate trash container.

7. In order to ensure that un-detected buried cultural material is not impacted by
   future development, a comprehensive testing and monitoring plan will be
   completed by the Forest Service and submitted to the Wyoming State Historic
   Preservation Office (SHPO) prior to surface disturbance and construction within
   the permit area. The plan will include a requirement that a Forest Service
   approved Archeologist will be on site during all ground disturbing activities,
   including construction, within the Lakeside permit area.

   If other Cultural Resources are discovered during construction, construction will
   cease and the resources will be evaluated. Mitigations will be developed in
   consultation with SHPO and will be implemented before construction activities
   resume.

8. A Road Maintenance Agreement will be jointly developed with Lakeside
   Lodge, the Town of Pinedale, and the Pinedale Ranger District for maintenance
   responsibilities for Forest Road #749, which access Lakeside Lodge and the Town
   of Pinedale’s Chlorination Treatment site at the Lower Fremont Boat Ramp
   parking area. The two-track road which currently serves as Lakeside Lodge’s




                                        19
       western permit boundary also accesses a permitted Recreation Residence. This
       road will therefore not be utilized by the lodge or guests of the lodge except for
       emergency purposes and/or during construction phases as approved by the Forest
       Service.

   9. In order to avoid unacceptable impact to migrating mule deer, client activities
      associated with Lakeside Lodge operations will be directed away from the main
      migration corridor located on the south side of Forest Road #749 during the
      critical spring and fall migration periods. These activities will be adaptively
      managed through the Annual Operating Plan for Lakeside Resort.

   10. The Pavilion and 25-unit lodge will be located a minimum of 100 feet from the
       shoreline.

   11. The new cabins on the west side of the permit area will be located a minimum of
       50 feet from the shoreline and will not be constructed until adequate screening is
       established between the resort permit boundary and the neighboring Recreation
       Residence boundary.

   12. Surfaced sidewalks linking the cabins, restaurant, pavilion, and lodge will be
       provided to limit the potential for soil compaction and sediment delivery to
       Fremont Lake.

   13. The existing boat launch site located east of the current Lakeside restaurant will
       be removed or surfaced with cement or pavement, with proper drains provided, to
       eliminate sediment delivery to Fremont Lake.

   14. Removal and restoration of the 20-unit campground facility will be completed by
       September 30, 2008. After this time, no travel trailers or Recreation Vehicles
       (RV’s) will be authorized within the permit area except under written
       authorization of the District Ranger, such as during construction of facilities.
       Written authorization will be provided by letter or through the Annual Operating
       Plan for Lakeside Lodge.


Note: In addition to the above Mitigation Measures, there are a number of Special Use
Permit clauses and an Annual Operating Plan which identify specific operating
requirements for Lakeside Lodge. These clauses can be found in the Special Use Permit
and 2005 Operating Plan, Appendix A of the 2005 EA.




                                           20
Monitoring Requirements

   1. The existing water-quality monitoring plan will be reviewed and updated in
      coordination with the Town of Pinedale, EPA, DEQ, NRCS, and USGS to sample
      and test water quality in Fremont Lake, including continuation of monitoring at a
      site adjacent to Lakeside Lodge. This plan will include water sampling schedule,
      sample locations, type of analysis to be conducted, methods of collecting and
      evaluating data, data collectors, and reporting details. This plan will also require
      installation of monitoring wells between the septic system leach fields and
      Fremont Lake as recommended by Wester/Wetstein and Bain. If monitoring
      indicates a lowering of the water quality in the lake or the presence of
      microorganisms as a direct result of Lakeside Lodge’s operations, all contributing
      activities at Lakeside Lodge will be suspended until the location of the pollution
      source is found and problems are corrected. Copies of the monitoring results will
      be submitted to the Town of Pinedale, The Wyoming Department of
      Environmental Quality, the Pinedale Ranger District, and the US Environmental
      Protection Agency.

   2. Drinking water testing will be continued as required by the Environmental
      Protection Agency. Results of this monitoring, as well as all correspondence with
      the EPA and the Lodge will be submitted to the Pinedale Ranger District.

   3. All construction activities will be monitored by a qualified archeologist to insure
      that un-detected buried cultural material is not destroyed.

   4. Rehabilitation measures will be monitored to evaluate the success of seedings and
      plantings, and measures will be taken to correct problems. Disturbed areas will
      be monitored for possible noxious weed infestations.




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