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BRC Twelve Days of Legal Updates | Day 12: NPS Addresses Lowe Water Levels at Lake Mead

BlueRibbon Coalition

Chelsey Gregory

The National Park Service is requesting comments to address low water levels at Lake Mead in Nevada. The NPS is looking at three options for how they should manage marinas, campgrounds, and recreation infrastructure as they adjust to low lake levels. One should note that motorized access should be accommodated and resources such as ramps should stay open. One of the options proposed closes all infrastructure and facilities on Lake Mead.

We need the public to let NPS know this is unacceptable. They are seeking feedback based on the following five questions:

  • Given the current water levels and future projections, what experiences in Lake Mead National Recreation Area are most important to you? What kind of experiences do you want future visitors to have when they come to the park?
  • Given your response to Question #1 regarding important experiences for you and future visitors, what barriers might get in the way of enjoying or visiting Lake Mead National Recreation Area? What barriers might prevent you from achieving your desired experiences?
  • Please provide input on the preliminary management concepts. What do you recommend the planning team consider, to address barriers and/or key issues, given the rapid decline in water levels?
  • What actions is the park currently taking to manage these issues that you’d like to see continue?
  • Other thoughts you’d like to share with the project team?

In addition to the National Park Service Plan, The Bureau of Reclamation is also accepting comments for emergency drought contingency plans. We need Lake Mead recreation supporters to add their voice to both of these processes.

Submit your comments by December 20, 2022 to let National Park Service and the Bureau of Reclamation know that recreation access to Lake Mead should not be shut down.

This is a new planning effort, and we still think we can influence the National Park Service to make a reasonable decision that keeps Lake Mead open for recreation. If they decide to close major marinas that service millions of recreation users a year, then this is likely the first step of what could become a major legal challenge. As 2022 comes to a close we have prepared a “12 Days of Legal Challenges” series to update you on our most important fights to keep your public lands and waters open for adventure. You can sign up to receive these updates and to receive our future action alerts below.

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