Comment sought on National Park Service plan for temporary move of Enchanted Valley chalet
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National Park Service
The edge of the Enchanted Valley Chalet hangs precariously over the East Fork of the Quinault River, which is eating away at the bank under the 84-year-old structure.

Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Public comments are being accepted on a plan to move the Enchanted Valley Chalet temporarily to save it from collapsing into the Quinault River.

The National Park Service announced the release of the environmental assessment for emergency action Wednesday.

Comments will be received through Thursday, June 5.

The proposal is to temporarily move the 1930s-era chalet about 50 feet to 100 feet from the bank of the Quinault River and dismantle and remove the remaining non-historic foundation.

That would buy time for a fuller analysis of the final disposition of the building through the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Moving the chalet would require a professional house mover, a team of four to six skilled laborers and a helicopter, according to the proposal.

The document is available for review at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/EVCEA.

Comments may be submitted at that site by clicking on “Open For Comment” and following the links.

The chalet is being undercut by the East Fork of the Quinault River.

The environmental assessment process will be expedited so the chalet can be relocated this summer before autumn rains and high river flows return, according to Barb Maynes, park spokeswoman.

By early January, the main channel of the East Fork had migrated to within 18 inches of the chalet.

This winter's storms and high flows have resulted in the Quinault's main channel continuing to shift by at least 15 feet in the past four months.

Recent photographs show the river has undercut the building by about 8 feet, Maynes said.

The chalet, which is 13 miles from the nearest road, was constructed by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s prior to the 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.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

Last modified: May 21. 2014 8:01PM
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