Enchanted Valley Chalet Debate

The Daily World - Aberdeen,Wa

The Enchanted Valley Chalet, imperiled by erosion of the East Fork Quinault River, leads the list of structures named to the 2014 Most Endangered Properties. The list was released by the non-profit Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
Last year, the historic Electric Building in Aberdeen was named to the list.

The fate of the chalet however is in the hands of the Olympic National Park and its future remains uncertain. The chalet is also on the National Register of Historic Places and proponents for it's historic preservation consists of avid back country hikers, recreationalists, and many other groups of citizens and families that want to save it, preferable by moving it within the valley. Give it back to the community who built and cared for it, long before it became an ONP designated wilderness area.

“…The 2-1/2 story, hand hewn, dovetail-notched log structure is significant for its association with the recreational development of the wild and remote interior of the Olympic Mountains,” the designation by the trust noted.

"The Olympic Recreation Company completed the chalet in 1931 and operated it as a seasonal wilderness hostel the company’s guide services to back country destinations throughout the Quinault River valley. Purchased by the National Park Service in 1953, it continued to serve as a ranger station and is the last structure of its type within the park’s interior,” trust executive director Chris Moore said.

Due to winter flooding, the river shifted course and resulting erosion has left one side of the building cantilevered over the riverbank. “Advocates hope the building can be safely relocated within the valley away from the river, noting that if the chalet were removed from the Enchanted Valley all together, it would lose much of its historic significance,” Moore said.
Local Quinault residents would highly disagree
that the chalet's historical significance would disappear if removed from it's original location.

The pioneer heritage has not disappeared from the Quinault valley, but has only grown more culturally sound and appreciated.  It is the work of their ancestors that  cleared the way through the wild lands and built the hotel/outpost from  the virgin timber forest. Every log and board that it took to contructthe much loved and used Enchanted Valley Chalet. 

"Park officials are conducting an expedited environmental assessment to consider the option of moving the chalet a short distance from the riverbank to prevent the structure from falling into the river.  This was in 2014

Park public information officer Barb Maynes said  that park officials were nearing completion of the assessment, announced April 18, 2014 and expected to have it out to for public for review. “The option under consideration hasn’t changed,” she said. (the option was do nothing).  "A second assessment will identify a more long-term solution" she said.

Park officials must also consider that the chalet is located within a designated Wilderness Area, Moore noted.

“While such designation does not prohibit proper care and stewardship for historic resources, past litigation has park officials wary of taking action that could be misconstrued as violating the Wilderness Act. In the meantime, chalet supporters simply want to ensure future generations can experience the chalet in its original context.” he said.

Park officials are still negotiating a Memorandum of Agreement with preservation officials, Dr. Allyson Brooks, State Historic Preservation Officer confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
- See more at: http://thedailyworld.com/news/local/enchanted-valley-chalet-named-2014-list-endangered-historic-properties#sthash.XCog3Ymp.dpuf

The Thumb Twiddling Continued

The above article fails to tell the reader that the river did not drastically change overnight. The Park watched this erosion take place for over 9 YEARS! They knew it was coming. They knew 2 years ago the loss of the hostel would be imminent.

The Thumb Twiddling Continued

    Because Designated Wilderness came in and surrounded the public land it was built on, they did not concern themselves with the fact that the wild river would take the hostel. If sensible and responsible river managment would have been allowed, the river could have easily been redirected to slowly move it's way back into it's original path by removing the obstruction that caused it to redirect itself. Minimal environmental impact would have resulted (unnoticeable). The lost land and the environmental damage could have been avoided. The chalet and most everything around it could have remained in place for another century.
    A little light management is necessary to protect and preserve. "Wild Laws" do not always preserve and protect our wildlife or environment. Mankind is smarter then that, and it is a shame man can't step in and prevent both the endangered land and wildlife species. There is no room for wilderness designation when protecting or preserving a healthy living forest environment. There is always work to be done the forests. Because of The Wilderness Act and the refusal to provide forest service with the funding to maintain anything (even if they could) has caused depletion that even wildlife can not thrive in. Wilderness is nonsense. Forest service managment with no budget is impossible. The Quinault Valley  wants the Chalet  preserved as promised when the building became a subject of and within the new ONP added Wilderness and it's laws.

The Chalet came before the land around it became a wilderness area.

Return it to the lower valley so this relic can be physically viewed and appreciated by all. As far as  D.C. and OLYMPIA'S beaurocrats are concerned they couldn't "give a hoot" (pun intended) about anyones legacy but their own.  

All scampering around and running "wild" to erase past history for a newly created and redesigned history of falsities, for the future teaching of how they wanted it to be. A legacy that will surely bare the names of those elected officials responsible for the theft of the Quinault heritage. A well deserved heritage and legacy that was truely earned by hard work and labor of the pioneers. A real American made culture, of early pioneering immigrants that lay embeded to this day in the Enchanted Valley Ridge and the lower Quinault valley that they themselves carved out to settled in.  Aren't we thankful did? and aren't we thankful the landowners through time have kept it the beautiful place it still remains today?

The Chalet has served as grand memorial to the settlers of that time ever since. A proud and respected part of American history that took place during it's infancy. Pure, simple and sustainable living. Truely a labor of love with the best of intentions. That alone is something everyone of us should cherish.

The Dicks/Murray/Cantwell and Kilmer wilderness weepers are the legacy runners, that hold the eraser to Quinault's pioneer history and the hand built Chalet,  in their hands.  
Twiddling Thumbs once again in the wilderness, awaiting the chance to wear that eraser down, with the help of  ignorant laws, that replace sound science with political agendic ideology.  Replacing history with Park Badges that take the credit for the work, others have done.  That's the way the D.C. beaurocrats and the federal minions operate. Take - Tax - Spend and Hoard - while pointing fingers at everyone else, as if public funding for government waste,  was our doing.
A LGBT district and it's buildings can be preserved by the national park system  as an important part of history?  But the National Park system can't preserve the real first history of ALL people that came and in particular those first settlers that actually inhabited the first wing of the lands that eventually became one of the National Parks domains? those that  opened up and made available real and natural recreation to All cultures?
What world did congress come from?  The Chalet was promised to be kept up and remain usable as a back country shelter to serve the publics interests.  They failed, over and over again to be held liable. What's new? A government that can't be trusted? That's old news and history that can't be erased or forgotten. Bottom line? Untighten the belts of congress a few notches and SAVE THE CHALET. It's time their meal tickets are cut.


    Quinault's pristine Valley has experienced numerous incidents of environmemtal damage in and around it's watersheds since the 80's when the WDFW took over river management  and the "Let it Run Wild" law was implemented (due mostly to green party environmental meddlers). This prohibited removel of ANY debris from within our river systems. This included big major logjams that would form and obstruct the river channels. During high water seasons these logjams tend to break up and reek havoc on the river banks and salmon/trout spawning areas. The force of the waters and the trees it carries, shred the banks, the land and anything else in it's path.
Environmental "know it alls",  will tell you these logjams are necessary for salmon spawning. We don't argue that some logjams serve those purposes. But the newly formed "danger logjams" that obviously become unstable should be removed to keep the river free flowing, and it's banks in tact. This is done in the low water season before spawning begins.
Big city decisions in protecting rural places are not always the best policies. They have proved devastating to the Quinault Valley time and time again.

"It's a sad thing to have to sit back and watch" said a local resident.  "Our valley has been eaten up by regulations. We never saw problems like the ones taking place today. Some of our favorite places have disappeared. Our river is no longer navigable to fish. It's a mess".

We agree with Mr. Jones
The Quinault river is a mess. It has been ruined by bad decision makers.
"Let it Run Wild" is destoying habitat and causing damage to our once stable environment.
With all these regulatory agencies, it is impossible to even walk where you want, let alone fish the river or find an open camping ground.
Congress wants extra protection?
What for?
A deed change? So they can sell our natural areas to China next?
Never say never when it comes to our D.C. government! They can't be trusted.