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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
The environmental analysis for restoring interim access to the upper Queets River valley has been completed and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was released today.
An Environmental Assessment (EA) for Restoring Interim Access to the Queets Area was released in December for public review and comment. The EA analyzed a single action alternative for restoring interim access into the Queets Valley, along with a no action alternative.
The selected alternative will use existing U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) roads to access the upper Queets area of the park.
The Queets Road has been closed to traffic since March 2005, when a landslide at milepost 8 undercut the road and rendered it unsafe for vehicles. In January 2006, an even larger slide at the same site completely wiped out 150 feet of the road, leaving a 100-foot deep chasm and closing the area to pedestrian traffic.
“We are excited to be moving ahead to restore access into the Queets rain forest by the end of this summer,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “We are particularly grateful to the DNR and U.S. Forest Service, for working with us to establish an alternate route into the upper Queets.”
The roads to be used in restoring access to the Queets are USFS roads 21 and 2180, both of which are currently open to the public. These roads connect to USFS road 2180-010 and DNR road FR-Q-2100, neither of which is currently open. In turn, these roads lead to a National Park Service road to provide a route into the upper Queets.
Park crews will begin improvements to these existing roads this spring, including installing a bridge, clearing the roadways, adjacent ditches and shoulders, and grading and resurfacing the roads. Restored access is anticipated sometime this summer. Once road access is available, crews will prepare the ranger station and campground for opening.
Both the EA and the FONSI may be reviewed online.
For more information or to request a copy of the FONSI, people may call the park at (360) 565-3004.