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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Contact: Dave Reynolds, 360-457-0715
The Spruce Railroad Trail Expansion and Improvement Environmental Assessment (SRRT EA) was released today and is available for public review and comment.
The EA was prepared by the National Park Service (NPS) and is available on the park's Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website.
Interested members of the public are invited to learn more about proposed improvement and expansion of the Spruce Railroad Trail at tonight's meeting from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the Vern Burton Community Center in Port Angeles. There will be a presentation of the preferred alternative at 6:30 p.m. with a question and answer session following the presentation.
People desiring a CD or printed copy of the SRRT EA should provide their name and mailing address via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We know how important this trail is to area residents and visitors and we look forward to their review and comment on this environmental assessment," said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin.
The SRRT EA was developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). This project would implement actions identified in the park's 2008 General Management Plan (GMP) and the 1998 Lake Crescent Management Plan (LCMP) to extend and improve the existing Spruce Railroad Trail (SRRT) located on the north shore of Lake Crescent and to construct new trail along the historic railroad grade in the park's Sol Duc area.
The purpose of this project is to improve the historic Spruce Railroad grade within Olympic National Park, as a non-motorized, multipurpose trail as identified in the GMP and LCMP. This includes the existing Spruce Railroad Trail.
This project is being developed in accordance with the Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas (Access Board, 2009). These guidelines apply to Federal land management agencies and also apply to the non-federal entities that construct or alter facilities on Federal lands on behalf of the Federal government.
This environmental assessment describes and analyzes four alternatives for expanding and improving the Spruce Railroad Trail: Alternative 1: No Action, Alternative 2: Recreation Trail Emphasis, Alternative 3: NPS Preferred, and Alternative 4: Clallam County Proposal.
Alternative 1 was identified as the environmentally preferred alternative. Alternative 3 was identified as the NPS preferred alternative as being the alternative that best achieves the Purpose and Need for taking action while avoiding or minimizing adverse effects to park resources and values.
Alternative 4 was submitted by Clallam County as their proposal to continue development of the regional trail system known as the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) within Olympic National Park (OLYM). The ODT, when complete, is proposed to stretch approximately 140 miles across the north Olympic Peninsula from Port Townsend to LaPush crossing numerous jurisdictions including the NPS. The County proposes to construct the trail to meet American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines for the development of bicycle facilities.
A 30-day public comment period has just begun for the Spruce Railroad Trail Expansion and Improvement EA and will continue through October 21, 2011. Interested groups and individuals may review and comment on the EA by selecting "Plans Open for Public Comment" at the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website.
Comments will also be accepted until the end of the public comment period by mail or hand delivery to:
Superintendent - SRRT EA
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362