National Park Service Seeks Public Comment on the Shepherdstown Battlefield
The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a special resource study and boundary study of the Shepherdstown Battlefield in West Virginia and Maryland, located near the town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. As part of the study, the NPS will hold a Public Meeting to explain the study process, findings, and to gather public comment about the findings. This informational meeting will be held in an open house format. The date, time and location of the meetings are listed below. For directions and details about the meeting and study, or in case of rescheduling due to bad weather, please go to www.parkplanning.nps.gov/SHBA.
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, 5 to 8 p.m. (presentations will start at 5 p.m. and be repeated at 6:30 p.m.)
Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center, 5831 Dunker Church Rd, Sharpsburg, Maryland.
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, 5 to 8 p.m. (presentations will start at 5 p.m. and be repeated at 6:30 p.m.) at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 233 Lowe Drive, Shepherdstown.
During the meeting, historian Thomas McGrath, author of Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign, Sept. 19-20, 1862, will present research on the events that occurred during the two-day Shepherdstown battle. The National Park Service study team will explain the study outcomes, answer your questions, and gather your comments about the study findings, the proposed boundary and other issues related to the study.
Comments received during this public review period will be forwarded along with the study to the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior will then make a recommendation to Congress based on the study’s findings and the public comments. The designation of new parklands would require an act of Congress.
Congress directed the NPS to complete this special resource study and boundary study to evaluate the national significance of the battlefield and its suitability as a stand-alone unit of the national park system. The legislation also directed the NPS to assess the suitability and feasibility of adjusting the boundary of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park or Antietam National Battlefield to include the Shepherdstown Battlefield. This special resource study has taken place in coordination with Antietam National Battlefield, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park over the last three years.
“Public input is the key to studying additions to the national park system. We look forward to hearing from community members and other stakeholders about the study findings” said Tammy Stidham, Chief of Planning for the NPS’ National Capital Region.
The public comment period will take place from Aug. 8 to Oct. 3, 2014, to solicit public comments on the study findings. During this period, the public is invited to share thoughts on the proposed alternatives, the proposed boundary, and to identify concerns they may have with the proposed study verbally or in writing at the public open house. Written comments can also be submitted electronically at the NPS’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/SHBA or by mail to: Regional Director, National Capital Region. C/O Jordan Hoaglund-Planning, National Park Service, Denver Service Center, 12795 West Alameda Parkway, PO Box 25287 Denver, CO 80225-0287.
Written comments must be postmarked by Oct. 3, 2014, to receive consideration.
Before including a personal address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal identifying information in a written comment, any one providing written comment should be aware their entire comment-including their personal identifying information-may be made publicly available at any time. While anyone wishing to comment may ask the NPS in their comment to withhold their personal identifying information from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.