Enchanted Valley chalet move preparations begin Monday
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National Park Service
The Enchanted Valley Chalet teeters on the eroding bank of the Quinault River in Olympic National Park.

Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Work to prepare for the temporary relocation of the Enchanted Valley Chalet away from the East Fork of the Quinault River is scheduled to begin Monday.

The actual move of the historic two-story structure is expected to begin no earlier than Saturday, Sept. 6, and more likely will begin the following day, said Rainey McKenna, Olympic National Park spokeswoman, Thursday.

Monroe House Moving, Inc. of Sequim, plans to complete the relocation by mid-September, weather permitting.

Monroe was awarded a $124,000 contract to move the structure 50 feet to 100 feet from its current location to prevent it falling into the river.

Erosion has undercut the bank beneath the building by about 8 feet.

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

Enchanted Valley will be closed to all public camping from Monday through Sept. 14.

Hikers and stock users may continue to travel through the valley during the two weeks, but they must be escorted by park staff.

The restrictions apply from the steel bridge at the downstream end of Enchanted Valley — mile 13 on the East Fork Quinault River Trail — to one mile upriver of the chalet.

Also closed will be the Graves Creek Stock Camp located near the Graves Creek trailhead to accommodate mules and handlers involved in transporting supplies and equipment to the remote location 13 miles from the nearest road deep within the Olympic Wilderness.

The National Park Service will use helicopters to haul equipment and materials too large or heavy for the mules.

Photos by park visitors showed that in early January, the main channel of the East Fork Quinault River had migrated to within 18 inches of the 1930s-era chalet.

With storms and high flows, the river continued to shift by another 15 feet.

Park officials' first decision was to let nature take its course.

That view changed with the realization that if the structure fell into the river, it would threaten such natural and wilderness resources as bull trout living in the water.

The move also will give park officials time to plan for the long-term future of the structure, said Barb Maynes, parks spokeswoman.

An environmental assessment, which was put on a fast-track, found in July no significant impact attached to the move.

For more information, see http://tinyurl.com/PDN-chaletdocuments.

Last modified: August 28. 2014 10:23PM
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