Flood Protection for Lake McDonald Lodge and Historic District and Sprague Creek Campground and Picnic Area EA
As a result of the 2017 Sprague Fire, the Snyder and Sprague Creek drainages are at high risk for flooding and debris flows, putting facilities within the Lake McDonald Lodge developed area and the Sprague Creek Picnic Area and Campground at risk. To protect these developments, which include the Lake McDonald Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, the park is planning to 1) construct two dikes to direct flood flows through the developed areas in the event that waters breach the channels; 2) remove 1-2 cubic feet of material in Sprague Creek above the Going-to-the-Sun Road to re-establish the channel; and 3) place riprap along a meander on Snyder Creek above the Going-to-the-Sun Road to armor the stream bank. Also, about 1-2 cubic feet of boulders, cobbles and gravel would be removed from the culvert under the Lake McDonald Access Road for approximately 50 feet upstream of the culvert, and a stream gauge would be installed in Snyder Creek. These actions must be taken in the next 2-3 weeks before high elevations experience significant snowfall and or precipitation, including possible rain-on-snow events.
The National Park Service prepared a streamlined Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the impacts of these actions on park resources. The NPS Intermountain Regional Director approved the project and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact on November 3, 2017. While it is generally NPS and Glacier National Park standard practice to release EAs to the public for a 30-day review and comment period, public review of EAs is not required under Department of the Interior National Environmental Policy Act regulations. Due to the urgent nature of this project, a comment period was not possible.
Mary Riddle: 406-888-7898