August 13, 2007
The area known as Logan Pit in Glacier National Park received a great deal of damage from the November 2006 storms and cut off access to the area until June 2007. The delayed access raised concerns about the continued viability of the area as a staging area for the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR) rehabilitation project, general road materials storage for the park and use as an emergency and administrative helicopter landing site. Logan Pit was identified in the May 2003 Going-to-the-Sun Road Rehabilitation Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement as the primary staging and stockpiling site for the multi-phase Plan.
The Logan Pit staging and stockpiling site is accessed off the GTSR and is located within a point bar on McDonald Creek. The access road crosses a back bar flood scour channel. During the November event, the water in McDonald Creek flowed through the scour channel and then through the Logan Pit site and access road. Though normally another 100-year flooding event would not be anticipated during the life of this project, the changing weather patterns may result in more frequent flooding, therefore, either alternative locations must be found for staging and storage area or in-stream work must occur in McDonald Creek to prevent water from flowing into the area.
Glacier National Park intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate rehabilitating Logan Pit and performing in-stream work to prevent flooding or utilizing alternative locations. In addition to minimizing impacts on natural and cultural resources at the alternative locations, the other considerations include distance to the project site, size of staging area, and safe access in and out of the staging area. The Western Lands Federal Highway Division will be assisting with developing alternatives.
Three alternative sites have been identified, thus far, by the National Park Service Staff and the Western Federal Lands Highway Division, as possible locations for the staging and material stockpiling. These sites are located off the GTSR and are: Packer's Roost (mile post (MP) 22), Moose Country (MP 13.7), and the area known as the West Glacier Ballfield that is currently being used for materials staging and storage for the GTSR project (MP 0.9). All of these sites would need to be enlarged.
Scoping is an early part of the environmental analysis process and is your and other agencies opportunity to provide comments and concerns and or suggest other alternatives to consider.
Comments can be provided directly through the park's planning website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkId=6r)
by selecting this project. Or write to: Superintendent, Glacier national Park, Attn: Logan Pit EA, West Glacier, Montana 59936. Comments are due by September 17, 2007.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
Thank you for you continued support and interest in Glacier National Park.
/s/ Michael O. Holm
Michael O. Holm