Darrington District Meeting Addresses Forest Access
Everett, Wash., Aug. 23, 2011—Darrington Ranger District is hosting an open house Sept. 15, 3-8 p.m. to discuss projects and access issues with the public. Federal Highway Administration staff will address the next steps in repairing flood-damaged Suiattle River Road (Forest Service Road 26).
The Suiattle River Road begins near Darrington, Wash., and heads east along the north side of the Suiattle River for 23 miles to the Glacier Peak Wilderness boundary. The upper end of the road has been closed since storms caused major damage in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
Road repairs were underway when North Cascades Conservation Council, Pilchuck Audubon Society and Bill Lider filed a complaint in federal court against the project in April, 2011. The defendants, Federal Highway Administration and the Forest Service, halted the project in May. The court dismissed the lawsuit against the Suiattle River Road repair project in July.
The Federal Highway Administration and the Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Assessment for release in late 2011 with a 30-day public comment period. The agencies propose repairing flood-damaged sites of Suiattle River Road 26 in 2012 through 2014, reopening access to national forest trailheads, Wilderness, campgrounds, hunting, fishing, gathering and tribal lands.
For more information about the open house, contact Darrington Ranger District at 360-436-1155. To learn more about the proposed Suiattle Road repairs, go to http://fs.usda.gov/goto/mbs/projects. To attend the open house follow Highway 530 from I-5 for 30 miles east to the Darrington Ranger Station.