Park Service plan would move Lake Chelan facilities out of Stehekin River floodplain

As the National Park Service moves forward with a proposal to replace administrative facilities at Stehekin at the head of Lake Chelan, it has scheduled three public meetings to explain the plan.

The events are meant to be open houses where attendees will have the chance to talk with park staff, ask questions and provide comments on the environmental assessment. A brief presentation describing the proposal will begin each meeting.

The goal of the project is to provide cost-effective and sustainable maintenance, fire operations and housing critical to Lake Chelan National Recreation Area operations outside of environmentally sensitive areas.

The Park Service decided to move forward to get the existing facilities out of the Stehekin River’s floodplain because they are inefficient to operate and maintain. In addition, a long-term solution for solid waste disposal must be identified and implemented.

Under the proposal, existing maintenance and fire facilities would be removed from the floodplain and the river channel’s migration zone, allowing those lots to be restored to more natural conditions.

The new maintenance facilities would be consolidated in an area near the airstrip, documents show. This complex would include shuttle bus storage and maintenance; equipment; a repair building; a fire cache and dorm; helicopter pad; hazardous materials, propane and gasoline storage; and a solid waste compacting/recycling transfer facility, according to a Park Service news release. A single-family house would be built in one of three potential locations in the valley.

The completed assessment is available for public review and comment through Dec. 7 at parkplanning.nps.gov/SMFRP .

Comments also can mailed or delivered directly to: Superintendent’s Office, Attn.:Stehekin Administrative Facilities EA, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 state Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284.