Road use permits are being sought by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the R.D. Merrill Company in order to access their lands for timber management activities west of Lake Crescent.
The proposed access would use existing roads through Olympic National Park. Two routes under consideration are the Waterline Road or the Joyce-Piedmont Road to the Lyre River Road, crossing the Lyre River Bridge, departing the park and crossing private property.
The original access road to these DNR and R.D. Merrill Company lands was located outside the park boundary, but this road was abandoned more than 20 years ago. DNR geologists have determined that it is now unstable and unsuitable for a road as a result of a slide that occurred several years ago. Another access route considered by DNR is the former Spruce Railroad grade outside the park. However, this route would require extensive work to bring it to road standards and it would also require the construction of a new bridge over the Lyre River.
Because of these and other concerns, DNR maintains that reconstructing the former access routes is infeasible. Therefore, DNR is seeking to gain access through Olympic National Park in order to conduct logging operations outside the park boundary. These logging operations are proposed to include selling different blocks for harvest over the next ten years to commercial operators (or shorter duration if the park only grants temporary access). Thinning and other silvicultural activities are proposed. About 60% of the area is workable, and all of the land outside the viewshed of Lake Crescent.
R.D. Merrill Company has requested a five-year access permit over the same roads, and plans to use the roads to facilitate various forest management activities, including silvicultural treatments, road maintenance, timber harvesting, and log hauling. The R.D. Merrill Company lands are part of the Lake Crescent viewshed.
Superintendent – DNR and R.D. Merrill Company Road Access
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Ave.
Port Angeles, WA 98362