The Final Disposition of the Enchanted Valley Chalet/Environmental Assessment
The National Park Service is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for the future of the Enchanted Valley Chalet, announced Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum today.
"We are pleased to ask the public to help us develop a plan for the Enchanted Valley Chalet," said Creachbaum. "We have drafted some preliminary alternatives that we'd like the public to reflect and comment on. And of course, we are also interested in additional ideas people may have."
The Enchanted Valley Chalet is located 13 miles from the nearest road, deep within the Olympic Wilderness. The chalet was constructed by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park. The chalet served for several decades as a backcountry lodge and more recently, as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter. The chalet was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 due to its local significance.
The chalet is located on the active floodplain of the East Fork Quinault River, where migration of the river's channel is common. In January 2014, the river had migrated to within 18 inches of the chalet. The National Park Service prepared a Concise EA for "Emergency Action to Temporarily Relocate the Enchanted Valley Chalet for the Protection of the East Fork Quinault River".
The selected alternative was to move the chalet 50-100 feet from the bank of the river in an effort to protect the river and its associated natural resources from imminent environmental harm. In September 2014, the NPS hired a local contractor, and the chalet was moved approximately 100 feet from the East Fork Quinault River.
The concise EA stated that the NPS would embark on a separate planning process to assess options for the final disposition of the chalet. This process is now beginning.