Olympic National Park solicits input for wilderness plan

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OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — What matters most to you in the national park that spans the North Olympic Peninsula?

The public is asked to answer questions about their desires for the Olympic National Park as officials begin to develop a wilderness stewardship plan for management of the 95 percent of the park devoted to wilderness areas.

Comments can be made at one of several workshops on the Peninsula in February or can be delivered by mail or by hand to the park superintendent’s office in Port Angeles.

“One of the first steps in any planning process is to learn what the public’s thoughts, questions and concerns are,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.

The plan will be developed in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964 and analyzed through an environmental impact statement, of EIS, park officials said.

The public comment period began Wednesday and will close March 23.

A notice of intent to prepare an EIS will be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks.

The park is soliciting answers to certain questions.

They are:

■   What makes the wilderness area special to you and why?

■   When you visit the wilderness area, what activities and experiences are most important to you?

■   What do you think the issues are in the wilderness area?

■   Imagine you are visiting the wilderness area 20 years from now. What conditions, experiences, visitor services and facilities would you like to see?

The public also is invited to make additional comments and suggestions.

Public workshops are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Port Angeles, Sequim, Sekiu and Forks.

Here are the dates and venues.

■ Tuesday, Feb. 5, Port Angeles — Jefferson Elementary School gymnasium, 218 E. 12th St.

■ Thursday, Feb. 7, Sequim — Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave.

■ Tuesday, Feb. 19, Sekiu — Sekiu Community Center, 42 Rice St.

■ Wednesday, Feb. 20, Forks — Department of Natural Resources Conference Room, 411 Tillicum Lane.

Other workshops are planned in Amanda Park, Seattle, Silverdale and Shelton.

“The Olympic Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1988 and has become one of the most popular wilderness destinations in the country,” Creachbaum said.

“We are excited to be moving ahead with a comprehensive plan for how we protect and manage this area and are looking forward to hearing thoughts and ideas from our public.”

More information about the Olympic Wilderness Stewardship Plan and planning process, including a public scoping newsletter, is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/olymwild.

Public comment can be made at http://tinyurl.com/b33olmn.

Comments also can be mailed or delivered to Creachbaum, ATTN: Wilderness Stewardship Plan, Olympic National Park, 600 E. Park Ave., Port Angeles, WA 98362

For more information, phone the park superintendent’s office at 360-565-3004.

Last modified: January 27. 2013 6:32PM
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