Environmental Damage to the Finley Creek Watershed Continues
First the diking of this
watershed was to protect occasional flooding to an insignificant shop
building within the Park boundries, and to avoid the expense of
building a proper bridge. An old weakened bridge had to be
replaced. Several plans were considered, more bulldozing, and a
substandard replacement was done. In
the meantime massive land swallows were consumed by the violent force
of water drainage redirecting this huge misplaced runoff to the
Away from the Park banks and over to the private land side of
where the natural flows and freshets have always existed. Reprecussions
of this Act against nature has cost many land owners thousands of
dollars trying to protect their homes and livelihoods from these
aggressive actions the park has put upon the Quinault Valley and its'
residents. These are serious issues that have gone on for over 9 years.
Extreme Environmental destruction of plant, animal, waterfowl, aquatic
habitat. Here is the latest communication.
start with the letters requesting information from ONP
Superintendent Karen Gustin and the legislative team of Norm Dicks and
Patty Murray. The latter two pledged they would look into matters. We are still waiting.
Submitted By Keith Olsen, Pres. OPNRC
Letter to National Park Service
On Continued Finley Creek Watershed
Karen and Todd
Once again, our community has grave concerns with
Olympic National Park's work in the Finley Creek channel. I know,
Looking at the unfinished streambed of
Finley Creek one can only be deeply concerned with the future of
the structure supporting the Finley Creek bridge.
The gravel has been
excavated to the bottom of the structure which raises issues as
to the structure's future stability in a high water
Excavating this gravel
will cause serious problems this winter. Olympic National
Park (ONP) has removed gravel that has supported the structure
since the bridge was put in place. I realize that rip rap is
being replaced for future support, but the base support has been
altered, and rip rap will be VERY difficult to keep in place in the
future around the bridge support.
Previous yearly maintenance, while
failing to correct the problem ONP created in 2001/2002, merely removed
gravel from the streambed. The maintenance did not do anything as
drastic as destabilizing the support for the bridge. Going
forward, this is a major concern for the Quinault Valley.
I am sure ONP has studied
the ramifications of the loss of the Finley Creek bridge. And, in
fact, they have previously studied the possibility of a "dry crossing"
for Finley Creek in the future, correct? While such
an event might be acceptable, and probably even preferred by
ONP, closure of the loop road in the Quinault Valley IS NOT acceptable
to us! Loss of the Finley Creek bridge would cause the closure of
the road for 8, 9, and sometimes 10 months out of the year.
Again, that is simply not acceptable, and we will not allow it.
I request a copy of
the Army Corps of Engineers permit, Environmental Assessment, or
whatever paperwork that ONP is operating under in doing the current
Finley Creek work.
I would also like the
paperwork on the cost of the chip-seal project at the Bunch Homestead
Thank you for your time in
assisting us with our concerns.
Karen and Todd,
I/we really would like the information I
requested last week.
What would be ONP's plan should Finley Creek have water
throughout October/November? Or do you consider the job already
These are very important questions that the local
community wants and needs answered now!
I realize you both must be pretty busy, but a
moderately prompt reply would be appreciated.
Is it really necessary to turn elsewhere for this
information? Let me know in a couple days.
Letter to Sara Crumb (Norm Dicks), Sheila Babbs
and Kristine Reeves (Patty Murray).
Sara, Sheila, and Kristine,
I am having trouble getting the Finley Creek
information from the Olympic National Park Superintendent and Assistant
I realize that they are probably busy with other
important issues, but to the residents of the Quinault Valley the
Finley Creek problem is every bit as important as dam removal,
re-surfacing roads, public relations, etc.
We shouldn't have to resort to the Freedom of
Information Act to acquire these documents....... should we?
Thank you all for your help. Would a meeting down
our way be possible in the near future?
Response from Karen Gustin (NPS) after Letter to the Legislaters
Hi Keith - we received your email on this issue on Sept 20 and
you will get a response this upcoming week. When we receive inquiries
about issues, we try to respond within 10 working business days.
Olympic National Park
600 E Park Ave
Port Angeles, WA. 98362
P 360. 565. 3004
F 360. 565. 3015