DONNER MEMORIAL STATE PARK

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  • Donner Memorial

    State Park

    GENERAL PLAN and Environmental Impact Report

    Volume 1 of 2

    Approved by the State Park and Recreation Commission April 5, 2003

  • VOLUME 1 This is Volume 1 of the Final General Plan for Donner Memorial State Park. It contains the Summary of Existing Conditions; Goals and Guidelines for park development and use; Environmental Analysis (in compliance with Article 9 and Article 11 Section 15166 of the California Environmental Quality Act); and Maps, Matrices, and Appendices relating to the General Plan. Volume 2 of the Final General Plan contains the Comments and Responses (comments received during public review of the General Plan and DPR response to those comments); and the Notice of Determination (as filed with the State Office of Planning and Research), documenting the completion of the CEQA compliance requirements for this project. Together, these two volumes constitute the Final General Plan/EIR for Donner Memorial State Park. COPYRIGHT 2003 California State Parks

    GENERAL PLANNING INFORMATION If you would like more information about the general planning process used by the Department or have questions about specific general plans, contact: General Planning Section California State Parks

    P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296 - 0001

  • DONNER MEMORIAL STATE PARK GENERAL PLAN and ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

    Approved April 5, 2003

    State Clearinghouse #2001102069

    Gray Davis Governor Mary Nichols Secretary for Resources Ruth Coleman Acting Director of California State Parks State of California The Resources Agency California State Parks P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

  • Table of Contents

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    SUMMARY OF THE PLAN............................................................................................. 3

    Vicinity Map (Map 1).....................10

    INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................... 11 Purpose for Acquisition...12 Purpose of General Plans ...................................................................................................13

    PARK SUMMARY......................................................................................................... 17

    Existing Land Use and Facilities............................................................................. 17 Recreational Land Uses ......................................................................................................17 Administrative Land Uses....................................................................................................18 Existing Utilities, Easements, and Encumbrances ..............................................................18 Recent Land Acquisition......................................................................................................19 Adjacent Land Uses ............................................................................................................19

    Significant Resource Values ................................................................................... 20

    Natural Resources Summary and Evaluation......................................................................20 Cultural Resources Summary and Evaluation .....................................................................37 TUAesthetic ResourcesUT...........................................................................................................46 Noise ...................................................................................................................................47

    Recreational and Interpretive Programs and Facilities......................................... 48

    Traffic Circulation.................................................................................................................48 Recreational Resources ......................................................................................................49 Interpretation .......................................................................................................................52 Concessions ........................................................................................................................57 Park Support........................................................................................................................57

    Planning Influences.................................................................................................. 58

    Systemwide Planning Influences.........................................................................................58 Sierra Region.......................................................................................................................58 Park Visitation......................................................................................................................59 Visitor Use and Activities .....................................................................................................60 Public Comments ................................................................................................................60 Relevant General Plans.......................................................................................................61

    Issues Analysis......................................................................................................... 62

    Park Purpose.......................................................................................................................62 The Emigrant Trail Museum ................................................................................................62 Interpretation .......................................................................................................................63 Park Access, Circulation, and Parking ................................................................................63 Natural Resources...............................................................................................................63 Cultural Resources ..............................................................................................................63

    Donner Memorial State Park i General Plan and EIR Vol. 1

  • THE PLAN .................................................................................................................... 67 Declaration of Purpose .............................................................................................. 67 Park Vision............................................................................................................... 68

    General Plan Management Goals and Guidelines ................................................. 70

    Department Mission.............................................................................................................70 Classification .......................................................................................................................70

    Park-wide Management Goals and Guidelines ...................................................... 70

    Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Natural Resources ....................................................70 Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Cultural Resources....................................................87 Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Managing Visitor Impacts..........................................89

    Park-wide Visitor Use and Opportunities ............................................................... 89

    Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Circulation .................................................................89 Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Recreation.................................................................92 Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Potential Land Additions ...........................................93 Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Interpretation .............................................................93 Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for Aesthetics..................................................................97 Park-Wide Goals and Guidelines for the Use of Sustainable Design................................100

    Park Planning Zones .............................................................................................. 101

    ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS.................................................................................. 115

    Summary ................................................................................................................. 115

    Description.............................................................................................................. 116 Preferred Alternative: Summary of Proposals by Planning Zone ......................................117 Preferred Alternative: Park-Wide Proposals......................................................................118

    Environmental Setting ........................................................................................... 120

    Significant Environmental Effects ........................................................................ 120

    TUAesthetic ResourcesUT.........................................................................................................121 Biological Resources .........................................................................................................123 Cultural Resources ............................................................................................................127 Water Quality Resources....................................................