Suiattle River Road: One More Chance To Comment!
You've got one more chance to weigh in on the repair of the Suiattle River Road, a tremendous opportunity to regain access to some magnificent hikes in the North Cascades. Landslides resulting from floods in 2003 and 2006 have kept this road closed past milepost 12, effectively locking out hikers from some of the best trails in the heart Glacier Peak Wilderness.
The Federal Highways Administration Western Federal Lands Division, in conjunction with the Darrington Ranger District have updated their earlier (March 18) Environmental Assessment (EA) in response to your comments earlier this spring. With the release of an Amended Environmental Assessment, hikers get one more chance to call for repairs to the road.
Comment by Sept. 10 to repair Suiattle River Road, regain hiking access
road to its end at milepost 23.0. Your feedback will help ensure that this critical access road is available to hikers once again!, which will repair the
Public comments will be accepted until September 10. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to:
Federal Highway Administration
610 East Fifth Street
Vancouver, WA 98661-3893
Washington Trails Association strongly supports repair of the Suiattle Road to its end. Together with the White Chuck River Road, the road was one of two access corridors into to the depths of the Glacier Peak Wilderness from the west side of the Cascades. The White Chuck River Road will not be repaired, which makes repair and reopening of the Suiattle even more essential.
What changed since the March assessment?
Not much. The Amended EA is in substance the same as the original March 18 document, clarifying a few points and cleaning up some punctuation and other language issues. The EA still identifies repair of all damaged sights as its proposed action, and Alternative B is still the one that best meets hikers' needs.
Here are some of the changes made in the Amended EA:
- Discussion of the two active EAs previously conducted on Suiattle Road Repair, including timing and appeals.
- More detail on some of the site repair descriptions.
- Clarification of the project's comportment with the Forest Plan.
- Reference to the Fish and Wildlife Service's ongoing rulemaking on northern spotted owl critical habitat.
- Noting that the Suiattle is classified as a level 3 road in many places per the 2008 Suiattle Access and Travel Management (ATM) Plan.
For more background on the Suiattle, read WTA's blog post about the March 18 Environmental Assessment.