36 CFR § 62.6 - Natural landmark monitoring.

§ 62.6 Natural landmark monitoring.

(a) Owner contact. The Field Offices of the NPS maintain periodic contacts with the owners of designated national natural landmarks to determine whether the landmarks retain the values that qualified them for landmark designation and to update administrative records on the areas.

(b) Section 8 Report.

(1) The Secretary, through the NPS, prepares an annual report to the Congress on all designated national natural landmarks with known or anticipated damage or threats to one or more of the resources that made them nationally significant. This report is mandated by Section 8 of the National Park System General Authorities Act of 1970, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 1a-5).

(2) A landmark is included in this report if it has lost or is in imminent danger of losing all or part of its natural character to such a degree that one or more of the values that made it nationally significant are or will be irreversibly damaged or destroyed. In assessing the status of a landmark, NPS considers the condition of the landmark at the time of designation, including any changes that have occurred and any threats that could impact it in the future.

(3) Section 8 also requires the Secretary to make recommendations to the Congress on qualified areas for consideration as additions to the National Park System. No legal mandate requires that the Congress take further action about national natural landmarks listed as damaged or threatened or about areas that are recommended for possible future additions to the National Park System.

(4) NPS Regional Offices are responsible for monitoring the condition of, and for completing status reports on, all designated national natural landmarks in their regions. In some cases, the NPS may arrange with outside individuals, agencies or organizations to monitor the status of selected national natural landmarks. NPS or its representative usually monitors national natural landmark condition and status during a visit.

(c) Monitoring.

(1) The NPS or its representative notifies the owner(s) of a national natural landmark of his or her pending visit to the area to determine its status and condition, and informs the owner(s) of the purposes of monitoring and its relation to the Secretary's annual report on threatened or damaged landmarks.

(2) While monitoring conditions of designated national natural landmarks, neither NPS nor its representative will enter onto private property or onto public lands that are not otherwise open to the public without first obtaining permission from the owner(s) or administrator(s). The NPS may monitor landmark condition without entering onto lands where required permission has not been granted by using other existing information, including telephone conversations with the owner(s) or manager(s) of the area, written materials provided by the owner or manager, or information previously developed by other Federal or State agencies or other scientific studies. The NPS provides owners with copies of monitoring reports on their property, which will include the name and affiliation of the individual(s) who completed the report.

(d) Section 8 report preparation.

(1) After completion of landmark monitoring, the NPS Regional Offices forward their findings and recommendations to the NPS Washington Office. The NPS Washington Office reviews the Regional Office findings and recommendations and prepares a draft report listing only the national natural landmarks with significant known or anticipated damage or threats to the integrity of one or more of the resources that made the area nationally significant.

(2) Pertinent portions of this draft report, including any executive summary, are provided to the owner(s) or administrator(s) of national natural landmarks listed as is feasible, as well as to other interested authorities, organizations and individuals. All individuals have 30 days to provide written comments to the NPS on the draft report. Comments may include additional information on the condition of landmarks or on the nature or imminence of reported damage or threats to these landmarks. Owners are also asked to indicate whether they would like to receive a copy of the final report, as described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(3) The NPS reviews all comments on the draft report and prepares a final report, which the Director transmits to the Secretary for submission to the Congress. Upon release of the final report, the NPS will provide a copy of the report to the owner(s) of landmarks who are listed in the report and have requested copies and to other interested authorities, organizations and individuals.

(e) Mining in the Parks Act. If the NPS determines that an entire or partial national natural landmark may be irreparably lost or destroyed by surface mining activity, including exploration for or removal or production of minerals or materials, NPS notifies the person that is conducting the activity and prepares a report that identifies the basis for the finding that the activity may cause irreparable loss or destruction. The NPS also notifies the owner(s) of the national natural landmark in writing of its finding. The NPS submits to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation the report and a request for advice about alternative measures that may be taken by the United States to mitigate or abate the activity. The authority for this action is contained in Section 9 of the Mining in the Parks Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1908).

(f) National Environmental Policy Act. Federal agencies should consider the existence and location of designated national natural landmarks, and of areas found to meet the criteria for national significance, in assessing the effects of their activities on the environment under section 102(2)(c) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321). The NPS is responsible for providing requested information about the National Natural Landmarks Program for these assessments.