Looking at goals for 14 areas of Olympic National Park
Map shows 14 areas of Olympic National Park addressed in the newly released management plan. To enlarge this map by Keith Thorpe of the Peninsula Daily News, open the story below, then click on the map next to the story.
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The outlines are plans that would be developed after more studies.
Heart O' The Hills
In the plan for the Olympic National Park Visitor Center and the Heart O' The Hills campground, the park calls for expanding the current visitor center on Race Road to include the Wilderness Information Center.
The park hopes to connect with local bus systems to improve parking and facilitate visiting the area.
"A Port Angeles regional visitor and transit center would be further explored in cooperation with local agencies," the report stated.
Another goal is to improve, expand and connect existing trails to regional trail networks.
Although most parts of Hurricane Ridge will be maintained at current levels, busing up to the ridge is a goal.
No area expansion of the ski area, nor increase in downhill skier numbers, is planned.
Obstruction Point road will remain unpaved and trails and parking will be kept the same as they are now.
One of the primary concerns with the Elwha River region is how it will be altered and restored once two dams on the river are removed after 2012.
A separate study and plan will be made for how to manage the Elwha region once the dam removal project is completed.
Roads to Boulder Creek and Whiskey Bend will be maintained, as well as all of the trails, although some trails might be rerouted.
"Trail access would be retained using methods that minimize adverse effects on river processes and aquatic and riparian habitats, to the extent possible," the report said.
The former campground at the Olympic Hot Springs will be rehabilitated, with many of the areas returned to their natural state, and other areas redone to allow better camping access.
Signs will be added to explain the history, natural resources and cultural background.
The park hopes to expand the park area here by some 1,640 acres – particularly near the head of the Lyre River — if it finds willing sellers.
Facilities at Barnes Point, Log Cabin and Fairholme might be improved for better shoreline protection.
A universally accessible front country trail will be developed.
A wilderness study will be conducted for the area north of the Spruce Railroad trail.
A longer lodging season will be encouraged.
Most areas of the Sol Duc will remain as they currently are, with the possibilities for longer seasons and bus transportation to the area left open.
The Ozette Campground could be moved or redesigned, and Swan Bay will be closed to camping, but the boat launch will remain open.
A new system of trails, which are more accessible for wheelchairs, will also be developed for the area.
An expansion by about 12,000 acres — the largest suggested expansion in the plan — of the Ozette area will also take place, if area land owners are willing to sell.
The draft plan had proposed more land to be purchased north of the area, but in response to objections, the park proposed a smaller expansion around the area.
Both the building at Rialto Beach and the road to the area will be kept up, but the plan notes that a catastrophic event — such as slides from storms or large waves destroying either — could prevent them from being rebuilt.
The park plans to seek a partnership with the Quileute tribe for canoe access between Mora and LaPush for tours and recreation in both areas, the plan said.
A study will be done of the possibility of having a bus to the Hoh Visitor Center, along with day-use parking located outside the park boundaries.
Both the Hoh Visitor Center could be relocated and the road could be moved because of floods and the meandering river.
Partnerships will be sought to protect elk habitat and fisheries outside the park habitat.
The Kalaloch Lodge, all cabins, restaurant, store and gas pump will be moved because of beach erosion.
The location of all are yet to be determined, and will be looked into in a separate study, the plan said.
Park staff will work with the state Department of Transportation in relocating all or part of U.S. Highway 101 in the area to provide a safer route.
The Kalaloch Visitor Center will be replaced by a new center.
The center will "serve as a model for cooperative efforts with many possible partners and would feature the coastal and marine resources of the area."
A shuttle also is being considered for the peak season.
The park wants to expand the boundary north of the boat launch area by about 2,300 acres, if it finds willing sellers.
Existing facilities could be removed or relocated because of roads being washed out by meandering rivers.
All areas, buildings and trails will be kept relatively the same as they are now, but the North Fork and Grave Creek roads could be moved out of the way of the river, which sometimes changes course.
The wilderness trail bridge at Staircase Rapids will be replaced, and the road will be open on a weather-dependent basis.
Camping in the Staircase-area outside the park will be developed through partnerships between the park area tribes and Olympic National Forest.
The Dosewallips Campground and Dosewallips Ranger Station will be open seasonally.
Nothing will change in the Deer Park area from how it is currently managed.
The road will remain unpaved, and the campground and ranger station will be open seasonally.
Last modified: March 15. 2008 9:00PM