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Suiattle Road 'No Impact' Finding a Big Impact on Hikers

Posted by Jonathan Guzzo at Nov 29, 2012 11:30 AM |
Repairs to the Suiattle River Road may finally become a reality after a new finding from the Federal Highways Administration Western Federal Lands Division. WTA and hikers have been advocating for repairs to the Suiattle River Road since flooding and landslides closed it in 2003.
Suiattle Road 'No Impact' Finding a Big Impact on Hikers

Hikers may once again be able to access the green slopes of Green Mountain. Photo by Kim Brown.

Repairs to the Suiattle River Road—a key access road for hikers—may finally become a reality.

Earlier this month, the Federal Highways Administration Western Federal Lands Division released their 'Finding of No Significant Impact' on repairs to the Suiattle River Road. The finding is the culmination of work that Federal Highways and the Darrington Ranger District have undertaken to repair damaged sections of the Suiattle River Road and to reopen it to hikers seeking access to the heart of Glacier Peak Wilderness.

"Repairing the Suiattle has taken on the tone of an Icelandic saga"

Landslides resulting from floods in 2003 and 2006 have kept this road—and hikes to the wildflower meadows of Green Mountain, the old growth forest of Downey Creek and western access to a stunning section of the Pacific Crest Trail—closed past milepost 12, effectively locking out hikers from some great trails in the Cascades.

Since then, repairing the Suiattle has taken on the tone of an Icelandic saga, with three Environmental Assessments, a Categorical Exclusion, a lawsuit and an Access and Travel Management Plan. But the new finding indicates that work will finally commence on repairing this immensely important recreational access road.

Hiker voices help clear the way for repairs

Washington Trails Association has worked with the agencies every step of the way on the Suiattle, writing substantive comments on all the Environmental Assessments and coordinating multi-group comments with organizations who share our values of preserving important places and providing public access to them

Thanks to everyone who commented, attended public meetings and otherwise showed support for repairs to the Suiattle. We will let you know when work on the road commences.

Evening Summit View Green Mountain
Evening at the summit of Green Mountain is just one view that may be open to hikers again. Photo by Kim Brown.

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