Friday, February 23, 2007

Olympic Repairs Damage

The National Park Service at Olympic National Park is steadily repairing roads and reopening public facilities damaged during winter storms. Extensive progress has been made on the Kalaloch, Mora, and Ozette campgrounds, as well as the Living Forest and Peabody Creek trails. Temporary repairs have been made on the Hoh road. The Park Service hopes to reopen the road and campground by May 1st. The Park Service is taking comments on more permanent repairs to this road.

Additional information on these repairs and how to comment on the proposed Hoh road repairs can be found here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

North Cascades Drying Out

The National Park Service recently released a Flood Recovery update for the North Cascades. Although, flood damage at North Cascades wasn't as severe as at Mount Rainier or Olympic extensive damage still occurred.

The Cascade River road and the Stehekin River road saw considerable damage. The Cascade road providing western access to the popular Cascade pass, is currently closed at milepost 20. The road will likely remain closed to cars until at least August. It is open to hikers, but high water flows my prevent safe passage. Meanwhile, Company Creek road in the Stehekin valley was also damaged. The Park Service is working with private property owners to repair access in this area. Please use extreme caution in any flood area.

Campground such as Colonial and Harlequin were especially hard hit during the storms. Several feet of mud and debris buried these campgrounds. Fortunately, the NPS expects to have both open by Memorial day weekend.

The Park Service is considering long term repairs to several areas including the Cascade and Company Creek roads. Comments or questions on these repairs should be sent Roy Zipp at 360-856-5700 ext. 367.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Progress Made at Mount Rainier

The National Park Service (NPS) is making steady progress toward reestablishing public access to many popular sites at Mount Rainier. The NPS recently shored up a bridge at Kautz Creek, restored power at Longmire's emergency operations center and nearly completed repair of a 400-ft break in the park road at Sunshine point. Click here to read more.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Congress, We're counting on you!

Jeremy Sullivan of the Park Remark posted a story on the coalitions' efforts to raise additional federal appropriations for storm repair efforts. As Jeremy correctly points out, the coalition's recent letter to Representative Norm Dicks is a reminder to our Congressional delegation that we need their help to restore our NW heritage.

Friday, February 9, 2007

SCA Storm Recovery Website Online

The Student Conservation Association has a website dedicated to park recovery efforts. Information includes up to date press and how to get involved. Check it out!

Your Parks and Public Lands Need You!

Lance Dickie of the Seatlle Times weighs in on what we all can do to help repair Mount Rainier, Washington's iconic national park. Click here.

As Lance points out there is plenty of work for everyone. Countless volunteers will be needed. To offer your skills please contact either SCA or WTA. However, repairing Mount Rainier is also going to take a significant amount of money. Private donations to the effort can be made through the WNPF. Congress has a roll to play as well. Please contact your elected officials and urge them to support the Park Service's needs.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Coalition Thanks Congressman Dicks for leadership on Flood Recovery

Eleven Washington conservation groups sent a letter to Congressman Dicks thanking him for working toward full funding to repair national parks in the Northwest. Click here to see the press release.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Storm Recovery Information

Below are links to up to date information from both the National Park Service and the US Forest Service on the recent storms.

Coalition Launch

NW Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery CoalitionWashington

National Parks are central to our environment, quality of life and economy. In response to fall storms that caused at least $50 million in damage to the parks, and due in no small part to the support of REI, we have formed a coalition of public land partners to facilitate the rebuilding of Mount Rainier National Park. The coalition called the Northwest Parks and Public Lands Storm Recovery Coalition includes the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the Washington Trails Association (WTA), and Washington National Park Fund (WNPF).

OUR GOALS: 1) To build a stronger, long-term constituency for Northwest Parks and neighboring public lands. If left to rely on their existing budgets, our parks and forests will be decades in completing repairs, to the extent that they are completed at all. Congress must find additional funding for both repair of major access roads, as well as trails and related facilities.

2) To increase volunteer involvement in Northwest public lands stewardship. In the face of such extensive damage, volunteers have an important role to play. Volunteers can contribute to the restoration of the parks through trail maintenance, restoration and interpretation.

3) To provide public land managers with additional support and capabilities to manage volunteer efforts. With a large turnout of volunteers expected, current park service staff is not sufficient to manage such a large restoration effort.

4) To ensure everyone in our region has the opportunity to learn from and experience the parks. The Coalition will provide the public with information and facts about the status of restoration efforts and upcoming volunteer opportunities. The groups will also serve as a catalyst for a long-term discussion on sustainable access to Northwest public lands.

5) To encourage citizen investment to augment public support and volunteer labor. While volunteer efforts are unquestionably required, additional funding will be necessary to complete park restoration.