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    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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Telecommunications in Stehekin Environmental Assessment

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Date: June 15, 2007

Comments Sought on Revised Environmental Assessment for

Telecommunications Equipment in the Lower Stehekin Valley

Comments are sought on an Environmental Assessment (EA) that evaluates a revised request from WeavTel to install and operate telecommunications equipment in the Lower Stehekin Valley, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. The proposed telecommunications equipment would help provide public phone service in accordance with the Universal Service Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

In 2001, a resident of the Stehekin Valley petitioned the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) for public phone service in Stehekin. In response, the WUTC issued a request to the telecommunications industry for proposals to provide phone service. WeavTel responded and was granted eligibility to provide phone service. Their proposal required a Special Use Permit from the National Park Service (NPS) to occupy federal lands in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

The NPS in 2005 prepared an EA of the WeavTel proposal and determined the proposal would not have a significant impact on the human environment. The NPS agreed to issue WeavTel a permit for the proposed phone service, provided WeavTel could (a) acquire easements from private landowners whose property crosses the lower Stehekin Valley Road and Company Creek Road—or demonstrate that easements were not required; and (b) secure all necessary permits and approvals from Chelan County. WeavTel then revised their proposal, and those revisions required preparation of the enclosed EA.

This EA evaluates two alternatives: (A) No Action; and (B) Issue Permit for Installation and Operation of a Telecommunication Infrastructure in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

Comments on this EA must be postmarked (surface mail) or sent (e-mail or fax) no later than July 11, 2007.

You may submit your comments by any of the following methods:

By mail or hand delivery: Superintendent

North Cascades National Park Service Complex

810 State Route 20

Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

By fax: (360) 856-1934

Via the internet (Planning Environment and Public Comment website; PEPC): http://parkplanning.nps.gov/noca/

Using PEPC: At the PEPC web site, you should select the specific North Cascades National Park Service Complex project for which you wish to comment, in this case "Issue Permit for Installation and Operation of a Public Telecommunications System". You will find the full text document, an on-line comment form and instructions for submitting on-line comments under the Documents and Links tab. Please use the on-line comment form to submit your ideas, questions, or comments.

Attachments: WeaveTel Revised EA 06.15.07.doc

Revised EA Cover Letter.pdf

Revised Stehekin Phone EA.pdf

Did You Know?

Grizzly bear track in North Cascades National Park (1989). Photo Credit: NPS/NOCA/Roger Christophersen

Grizzly bear tracks can be a reliable indicator of species? Grizzly bear and black bear forepaw tracks are distinct from one another and often times better than a photo of the bear to confirm an observation. So don't just look up, look down.