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Olympic National Park Wants Your Feedback

Posted by Jonathan Guzzo at Feb 05, 2013 09:30 AM |

Take a look at a map of Olympic National Park sometime (soon, I hope) and you'll notice that the very few roads that penetrate the Park boundary don't do so very deeply. That's because the vast majority of the Park is designated wilderness.

Like every wilderness statewide, Olympic National Park's wilderness acres are designated under the Wilderness Act, which defines wilderness as ". . . a tract of undeveloped federal land of primeval character without permanent improvements or human habitation; an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain . . .". And like nearly every other wilderness, it has a management plan that, you guessed it, plans its management. But this crucial document has not been updated since 1980. This year, Olympic National Park will take up a new Wilderness Stewardship Plan.

The first step is known as scoping. Think of scoping as drawing the boundaries of the plan. The public and agency staff work together to come up with the issues that the Park will cover. From there, Park staff will release a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), consider public comments, and release a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

Now is a great time for you to put your stamp on the Plan. Please take a few moments to read the scoping newsletter. Even better, go to one of the public scoping meetings that the Park is holding across the Puget Sound region. Meetings will be held in the evenings in the following locations. You can read the details about where and when here:

  • 2/5: Port Angeles
  • 2/7: Sequim
  • 2/19: Sekiu
  • 2/20: Forks
  • 2/21: Amanda Park
  • 3/4: Seattle
  • 3/5: Silverdale
  • 3/6: Shelton

Getting involved in the management of the lands you love is very rewarding. You'll be glad you made the effort.