Olympic Hot Springs Road Access/Environmental Assessment
During the public comment period, the National Park Service (NPS) will host one in-person public meeting where Olympic National Park and Federal Highways staff will be available to discuss the EA. The meeting will be held from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Wednesday, November 13 at the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center, 401 East First Street in Port Angeles, Washington 98362. The presentation will begin at 5:45 pm followed by a question and answer period.
The purpose of the project is to rehabilitate the 8.2 mile Olympic Hot Springs Road within Olympic National Park to ensure public and administrative access to visitor use areas within the Elwha Valley. The rehabilitated roadway would provide year-round road access to the Elwha Ranger Station and Glines Canyon Spillway Overlook, and seasonal access to Whiskey Bend Road and the upper portion of Olympic Hot Springs Road to Boulder Creek Trailhead.
This access would continue to serve several popular trailheads, day use facilities, and private lands. Park staff would also continue to use the road to maintain trails and other facilities, operate the Ranger Station and access the pack stock operations area, park maintenance area, and Elwha Ranger Station Historic District. The park General Management Plan and Elwha River Ecosystem Restoration Implementation Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) call for continued road access to this area of the park. Actions to monitor, evaluate, and adaptively manage ecosystem recovery require vehicle access.
The EA analyzes three options which include a no action (current management) alternative, modifying the current road alignment to raise grade, or a reroute of one mile of the road outside the floodplain. The National Park Service preferred alternative is the reroute of the one mile section.
The EA will be available for review and comment here on website website starting Monday, November 4, 2019. Comments may be submitted directly on this site by clicking on "Open for Comment" and following the links to review the document and submit a comment. Comments will be accepted starting Monday, November 4, 2019 through 11:59 p.m. MST on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
"Long-term and sustainable public access in the Elwha Valley is important for public enjoyment. The Olympic Hot Springs Road provides access to Olympic's gorgeous high country, the Elwha Historic District, and the continuing restoration of the Elwha River following the largest dam removal in history," said park superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. "We appreciate the public's participation in this process."
Comments on the EA can also be mailed or hand-delivered to: Olympic National Park, Attn: Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum, Olympic Hot Springs Road Long-Term Access EA, 600 East Park Avenue, Port Angeles, Washington 98362.
Comments submitted by phone or email will not be accepted. Comments submitted on behalf of other individuals will also not be accepted.
You should be aware that your entire comment - including personal identifying information such as your address, phone number, and email address - 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.
Lisa Turecek, Chief of Facilities Maintenance
The National Park Service has prepared the Olympic Hot Springs Road Long-Term Access Environmental Assessment (EA) and it will be available for a 45-day public review and comment period starting November 4, 2019 through December 18, 2019.