This just in from Mount Rainier National Park:
Mount Rainier National Park officials announce that the environmental review process has been completed for proposed trail repair to a flood-damaged section of the Glacier Basin Trail. The Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed by Regional Director Jon Jarvis on August 5, 2008.The FONSI records the decision of the National Park Service to relocate a damaged portion of the trail to higher ground above the floodplain of the Inter Fork of the White River. The trail reroute will reduce safety hazards and resource damage occurring along the damaged section of trail. The decision was reached after reviewing the environmental impacts and considering public comments on the environmental assessment (EA) released on June 18, 2008.
The project involves relocating approximately one mile of trail to higher ground above the floodplain of the Inter Fork of the White River as described in the EA and FONSI. Trail construction will occur in designated wilderness and will include removal of trees and some blasting of bedrock to create a pathway along steep side slopes. The trail will also cross bull trout streams and sensitive wetlands. Therefore, as outlined in the FONSI, the project will include measures to avoid and minimize harm to federal and state protected species and their habitats, wilderness values, and other protected natural and cultural resources.
Volunteers and conservation corps will assist National Park Service trail crews in building the relocated segment of trail. Although a temporary bypass trail will remain open during the construction period, hikers may experience short delays during blasting operations. The project is expected to be completed by October 2009.
Both the FONSI and EA are available on the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ (choose Mount Rainier National Park from the drop-down menu).