Upper Stehekin Valley Road Carwash Falls (MP12.9) to Cottonwood Camp (MP22.8) (2006)
Record flooding of the Stehekin River in October 2003 severely damaged the Upper Stehekin Valley Road from Car Wash Falls (mile post 12.9) to Cottonwood Camp (mile post 22.8). The National Park Service in May 2005 prepared an Environmental Assessment that evaluated four management alternatives for road management.
The National Park Service in summer 2006 selected Management Alternative B (the Environmentally Preferred Alternative) for implementation. This alternative was selected because it would cause the least damage to the biological and physical environment when compared to the other alternatives. Alternative A (No Action) would leave remnants of the road infrastructure (e.g. culverts) in place. Over time, these materials would adversely impact drainage along the former roadbed, leading to further instability and increased sedimentation. Alternative C (reconstruct the road) would cause substantial adverse impacts to the environment, especially to the Stehekin River and its floodplain. Also, road reconstruction would not be feasible given many factors including an active landslide downstream of Bridge Creek, and the close proximity of the Stephen Mather Wilderness boundary. Alternative D (relocate the road) would cause various significant adverse impacts to vegetation and wildlife, including harm to spotted owl habitat, and would cost more than $1 million to implement. Alternative D would also require legislation to amend the wilderness boundary because construction of permanent roads in wilderness is prohibited by the Wilderness Act.
For more information regarding this decision, please click on the "Document List" link to the left of this page. This link provides access for downloading Environmental Assessment and the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI explains the decision rationale and includes a summary of public comments received.
Denise Shultz, Public Information Officer