Park Seeks Comments on Bank Stabilization on the Going-to-the-Sun Road at Milepost 19.25
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
Contact: Mary Riddle, 406 888-7898
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park seek comments to help in the preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) for bank stabilization on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) at milepost 19.25, located just below Logan Creek Bridge. Comments are due by February 29, 2008.
In November 2006, the park experienced a rain on snow event that caused damage throughout the park. Emergency repairs occurred on several sections of the Sun Road. At milepost 19.25, emergency road repair involved the installation of “soil nails” which were used to stabilize unconsolidated soils. This was a temporary action to keep the road open to visitor traffic. Permanent stabilization of the bank is needed to ensure that further slumping does not occur, leading to a loss of the road at this location.
Extensive bank erosion would deposit sediment in the creek, create turbidity and could harm fish and other aquatic life. A loss of the road would adversely affect a National Historic Landmark and adversely impact park visitors. The EA will consider alternatives that address issues associated with bank stabilization, including: erosion and sedimentation; bull trout rearing habitat at Lake McDonald inlet; protecting the historic Sun Road; and steam hydraulics.
The objectives of the park’s proposal are to minimize impacts on aquatic species, water quality and vegetation; protect a National Historic Landmark; and maintain visitors’ ability to drive across the park.
The park is developing alternatives that will be analyzed. Under one alternative, bank stabilization would utilize woody material, such as root wads, logs and plantings, in addition to riprap. Two to three rock barbs would be placed in the creek to deflect water from eroding the bank at this location. Other alternatives include the realignment of the Sun Road in this area or for the park to take no action.
Scoping is the first step to involve the public in the EA process. Your comments will be used to ensure that all possible resource issues and alternatives are being considered. When the EA is completed and released, there will be another opportunity for public review and comment.
Comments can be provided directly through the park’s planning website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkId=61) by selecting this project. Or write to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn: McDonald Creek Bank Stabilization EA, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, Montana 59936. Comments are due by February 29, 2008.
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Did You Know?
In 1974, 93% of Glacier National Park was recommended as Wilderness. To this day, over 93% of Glacier’s backcountry is managed as Wilderness.