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North Fork Skykomish Road Repair Public Comment Period Open (WA)

Posted: 02/03/2012
By: Thomas O'Keefe

In the fall of 2006 a major flood event severely damaged the road that provides access to the North Fork of the Skykomish River. Most of the damage was between the put-in at Drumbeater (just above Troublesome Creek) and the take-out at Trout Creek. Of the 8 major sites of damage, 6 have been repaired but one section from road mile 6.4 to 6.7 needs to be rerouted. The road prism was within the channel migration zone and major sections of the road are gone. The most logical alternative is to construct a new segment of road outside of the channel migration zone and a preliminary alignment has been identified.

The environmental analysis for the road reconstruction will be done under an Environmental Assessment and Snohomish County, in partnership with federal agencies, has initiated the public scoping process to identify issues for analysis. The comment deadline is February 29th and we encourage members of the paddling community to weigh in to indicate the importance of this road for river-based recreation. 
Comments can be addressed to:
Tina Hokanson
Snohomish County Public Works
3000 Rockefeller Ave. M/S 607
Everett, WA 98201 425-388-3789
The most effective comments are those that are in your own words but you might consider making the following points in the letter:

* Identify yourself and your personal connection to the North Fork Skykomish, and the value of the river as a regional paddling destination.

* Note the importance of being able to access the river from the upstream end (over Jack's Pass) to mile 11.7 (Drumbeater), mile 10.9 (Rooster Tail), or mile 10.5 (bridge access). We are requesting that the gate be moved to facilitate this access from the upstream direction until the repairs are completed at road mile 6.4 to 6.7.

* Highlight the importance of protecting river values--the river is a State Scenic Waterway and recommended by the Forest Service as a Wild and Scenic River--as the project is developed. Moving the road out of the channel migration zone will protect and enhance river-based values (including recreation) and result in a more sustainable road less prone to future washout.
* Request that debris associated with the damaged road be removed from the river.
* Request an evaluation of opportunities to provide public access to the river at road mile 6.9--one of the historic take-outs that appears to be bypassed by the proposed alignment.

Thomas O'Keefe

3537 NE 87th St.

Seattle, WA 98115

Phone: 425-417-9012
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