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Environmental Assessment: Issue Permit for Installation of Public Telecommunications Equipment

This Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluates a revised request from WeavTel, a public telecommunications company, to install and operate telecommunications equipment in the Lower Stehekin Valley, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. The proposed telecommunications system would provide public phone service in accordance with the Universal Service Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

In 2001, a resident of the Stehekin Valley petitioned the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) for public phone service in Stehekin. In response, the WUTC issued a request to the telecommunications industry for proposals to provide phone service. WeavTel responded and was granted eligibility to provide phone service. Their proposal required a Special Use Permit from the National Park Service (NPS) to occupy federal lands in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

The NPS in 2005 prepared an EA of the WeavTel proposal and determined the proposal would not have a significant impact on the human environment. The NPS agreed to issue WeavTel a permit for the proposed phone service, provided WeavTel could (a) acquire easements from private landowners whose property crosses the lower Stehekin Valley Road and Company Creek Road—or demonstrate that easements were not required; and (b) secure all necessary permits and approvals from Chelan County. WeavTel then revised their proposal, and those revisions required preparation of the enclosed EA.

This EA evaluates two alternatives: (A) No Action; and (B) Issue Permit for Installation and Operation of a Telecommunication Infrastructure in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

The public comment period on this EA opened June 13, 2007 and closed July 11, 2007.
Comment Period: Closed        Jun 13, 2007 - Jul 11, 2007
Document Content:
Revised Stehekin Phone EA (FINAL)   (553.6 KB, PDF file)
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