Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Facility Improvements #53780

Commenting on This Project

Planning Process Overview (Draft EIS and Supplemental Draft EIS):

The Forest Service released a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) in March 2022 and a supplemental draft EIS in January 2023.  Public comments received on both drafts were considered. The SDEIS analyzes several new alternatives that were developed based on public comments on a draft environmental impact statement in the spring of 2022. The public reading room includes comments from several public comment periods for the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Facility Improvements Project. 

  • On January 24, 2023, there was an open house to share information on the project and new alternatives. The video that played during the open house is posted here (~12 minutes):
  • On January 26, 2023, there was a webinar on the project. A recording of the webinar is posted here (~2 hours): 

Current Status (Final EIS, Draft Record of Decision, and Objection Filing Period): 

The USDA Forest Service has prepared a final EIS and draft record of decision (ROD) for the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Facility Improvements Project located on the Juneau Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest. A notice of availability for the final EIS is expected to be published in the Federal Register on May 12, 2023, and a legal notice for the opportunity to object is expected to publish on May 13, 2023 in the Ketchikan Daily News, the newspaper of record. A courtesy copy of the legal notice will also be published in the Juneau Empire.

The draft ROD states the Responsible Official is planning to implement a modified Alternative 5, which will not include motorized boats on the lake, docks and associated infrastructure, or a remote glacier visitor area. The modified Alternative 5 includes parking and access expansion, a new Welcome Center complex on the lakeshore, Visitor Center improvements, Glacier Spur Road trailheads, a Lakeshore trail along the south shore of Mendenhall Lake with pedestrian bridge to Mendenhall campground, public use cabins, restoration of Steep Creek, Steep Creek Trail expansion, and new and improved multi-use trails throughout the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area.  The selected alternative also includes new management strategies including changes to visitor capacity and commercial use and adjustments to management unit boundaries.

The final EIS and draft ROD and supporting documents are available on the project website:

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Facility Improvements Project is an activity implementing a land management plan.  This activity is subject to pre-decisional objection under subparts A and B of 36 CFR Part 218.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed with the appropriate reviewing officer within 45 calendar days following publication of a legal notice in the Ketchikan Daily News, the newspaper of record.  A courtesy copy of the legal notice of the opportunity to object is also being published in the Juneau Empire, however the publication date in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection.  Objectors should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.  It is the objector’s responsibility to ensure timely filing of a written objection with the reviewing officer pursuant to 36 CFR 218.9.  All objections are available for public inspection during and after the objection process.

Objections will only be accepted from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated opportunities for public comment in accordance with 36 CFR 218.5(a).  Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless the issue is based on new information arising after the designated comment opportunities.

The objection must contain the minimum content requirements specified in 36 CFR 218.8(d) and incorporation of documents by reference is permitted only as provided in 36 CFR 218.8(b). Objections that do not adhere to these requirements make review of an objection difficult and are conditions under which the reviewing officer may set aside an objection pursuant to 36 CFR 218.10.  All objections are available for public inspection during and after the objection process.

Submit objections online through the web form below (preferred).

Hard copy objections and attachments may be submitted through mail to the Alaska Regional Office: Objection Reviewing Officer, USDA Forest Service, Alaska Region, Attn: Reviewing Officer, C/O Director of Ecosystem Planning and Information Management, PO Box 21628, 709 West 9th Street, Juneau, Alaska 99802-1628.  To arrange for hand delivery or facsimile submission of objections to the Regional Office, contact Monique Nelson through a method described below.

Additional information regarding this proposed action can be obtained from Monique Nelson, Alaska Region Planning Director.


If you have a question about this project, please send it to:

Monique Nelson

Juneau Ranger District
PO Box 21628 709 West 9th St, Juneau, AK, 99802-1628