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Environmental analysis clears way for road improvements at Olympic National Park

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on April 24, 2009 at 11:45 am with No Comments »
April 24, 2009 11:45 am

From Olympic National Park:

Environmental analysis for rehabilitation of the Graves Creek and South Shore Roads in the Quinault Valley of Olympic National Park has been completed and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been released.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluating alternative proposals to repair the two roads was released in September 2008; both roads sustained heavy damage during a major storm late in 2007. Based on input provided during the public comment period, a combination of two of the alternatives will be implemented, with the goal of restoring and providing sustainable access to the Graves Creek and South Shore roads with the addition of selected improvements that incorporate protective measures for habitat restoration.

"Our goal is to provide sustainable visitor access to the Quinault Rain Forest, while protecting important habitat and resources," said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. "We look forward to beginning repairs this summer and reopening the Graves Creek Road to vehicles this fall."

Graves Creek Road was severely damaged at eight locations along its six mile length. It remains closed to vehicle traffic, but is currently open for pedestrian, bicycle and stock use. Construction will begin on the Graves Creek Road mid July, with completion scheduled for the end of October this year.

The South Shore Road sustained damage from flood waters during the same storm; emergency repairs were completed and the road reopened to motor vehicles last April.

Both the Graves Creek and South Shore roads are important access routes for the Quinault Rain Forest. Together with the North Shore Road, the South Shore Road provides a popular loop drive through the Quinault Rain Forest.

The Graves Creek Road provides access to the Graves Creek Campground and ranger station and to a popular trailhead.

The Graves Creek and South Shore Road FONSI may be reviewed online by selecting Olympic National Park at the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website, For more information or for a printed copy of the FONSI, you may call the park at 360-565-3004.

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