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The October 2003 flood in Stehekin.

Stehekin River Corridor Implementation Plan (2013)

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In March 2013, the National Park Service (NPS) completed the Stehekin River Corridor Implementation Plan in an effort to comprehensively address the steps needed to provide sustainable access and recreational and administrative facilities in the Lower Stehekin Valley in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area (NRA).

The final plan includes specific management actions that will be implemented to mitigate the risk of flooding and erosion within the channel migration zone of the Stehekin River and its adjacent landscape corridor.

These actions include:
• Relocating a 1.9 mile segment of the Stehekin Valley Road around the flood-prone area of McGregor Meadows;
• Protecting the Stehekin Valley Road with erosion management structures at two sites where road relocation is not feasible;
• Maintaining existing erosion-protection measures along the Company Creek Road, including the 400-foot-long levee constructed in the 1980s;
• Maintaining grade-control structures at Milepost 7.0 and 9.2 on the Stehekin Valley Road and along the upper Company Creek Road;
• Installing a logjam and new grade-control structure near Boulder Creek and installing erosion-protection measures near the river mouth, at Frog Island, and at Wilson Creek;
• Stabilizing the raveling slope at Milepost 8.0;
• Providing a process for the alteration of log jams in the lake backwater zone if they cause flooding of private property that impacts water quality and access along the Stehekin Valley Road;
• Maintaining motor vehicle access to private property and providing private landowners with options for mitigating the risk of flooding or relocating from flood prone areas;
• Relocating the NPS maintenance and solid waste facility away from the channel migration zone;
• Constructing a new walk-in campground near Rainbow Falls and group campsites at Purple Point Horse Camp and relocating Bullion Camp to avoid hazard trees;
• Constructing a Lower Valley Trail from the Stehekin Landing to High Bridge and providing a trail connection to the Stehekin River Trail via a footbridge over the Stehekin River;
• Constructing a raft take-out near the Stehekin River mouth; and
• Restoring approximately 9.1 acres of riparian and wetland habitat.

These actions will reduce the risk of future flood damage by enabling the Stehekin River to utilize its floodplain and move within its natural channel migration zone over time. These actions will also reduce NPS administrative costs, protect the Stehekin Community, sustain opportunities for public enjoyment of Lake Chelan NRA, and maintain access to North Cascades National Park.

The NPS will begin to implement the Stehekin Valley Road Improvement aspects of this plan in fall 2013, though funding may be delayed. Early actions will include acquisition of easements from several private landowners to enable road construction. The NPS will also continue to pursue land exchanges in 2013, based on the guidance provided by the 2012 Land Protection Plan. Public scoping for relocating the maintenance facility, solid waste operation, fire cache, and a single family housing unit will begin in spring 2013. NPS staffs will continue to provide technical assistance to private landowners seeking to implement erosion control or advance flood protection measures on their property. Other management actions await additional funding and may take a decade or more to implement.

Please learn more about the plan by downloading the full plan, summary documents, and supplemental information on the "documents" page of this website. A slide show of photos and maps from the final plan is also located on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/northcascadesnationalpark/sets/72157630515593798/).
Contact Information
Dr. Jon Riedel, Geologist (360) 854-7330