The National Park Service is asking area residents to weigh in on a proposed collaboration between the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and the Chickasaw Nation.
NPS officials said the proposal revolves around the "design and construction of a pedestrian bridge and associated multi-use trail system." The bridge/trail system would connect the CNRA with the Chickasaw Cultural Center and downtown Sulphur. Dan Winnings, CNRA spokesperson said the bridge/trail would "promote increased access to the CNRA and the surrounding community."
Winnings described the call out for public comment "the scoping phase" of the project.
The NPS will prepare an environmental assessment in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act to provide the decision-making framework.
"Before we begin the environmental analysis for this project, we would like to hear your viewpoints on the action and any suggestions or issues you may have regarding this proposal," Winnings said.
Comments will be accepted until October 18. Comments may be made online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/CNRAPedestrianBridge. Those unable to submit comments electronically can send written comments to: Superintendent, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, 1008 W. Second Street, Sulphur 73086
Winnings cautioned names and addresses of respondents may be released if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
"Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. Individuals may request that we withhold their home address from the record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law," he said. "There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment."
However, Winnings said all submissions from organizations or businesses are available for public inspection in their entirety.
"Anonymous comments may be included in the public record. The National Park Service, however, is not legally required to consider or respond to anonymous comments," he said.
While the initial comment deadline is Oct. 18. Area residents will get a second opportunity to talk about the proposal. Winnings said that second opportunity will happen when the "DRAFT Environmental Assessment is released to the public for review."