Plan for Index-Galena Road Repairs on North Fork Sky Open for Comment (WA)
By: Thomas O'Keefe
Snohomish County Public Works has published the long-awaited Environmental Assessment for repairs on the Index-Galena Road that historically provided access to the North Fork Skykomish River for whitewater boaters. Many remember this run as one of the classics of the North Cascades until the road providing the primary access was severely damaged in the 2006 flooding. Of the 11 areas along the road that were damaged, 10 have been repaired but a section between milepost 6.4 and 6.9 still needs to be fixed (this is the segment just upstream of Trout Creek).
The Environmental Assessment analyzes this last necessary repair and includes several good elements for our community. Notably the project proposes to move the segment of damaged roadway out of the channel migration zone. The result would be lower environmental impacts on the river and a more sustainable alignment less subject to future washouts.
The project also includes provisions for access to the river for whitewater boaters and formalizing the dispersed recreation site that many have used as a take-out at milepost 6.9 (this is the public access on Forest Service land just upstream of the Trout Creek access that is privately owned).
In the document Snohomish County notes that input provided by the public will be considered in agency decision making on whether the project will be constructed. Comments must be received by October 31, 2016.
To make this easy we have developed a simple comment form based on our review of the Environmental Assessment. We encourage you to personalize your comments based on your own connection to the North Fork Skykomish River and why this project is important to you.
PROVIDE YOUR COMMENT:
We also encourage local members to attend the project open house to learn more about the project and provide direct feedback to project planners and decision makers on the importance of this road for recreational access.
Index-Galena Road Flood Damage Repair Open House and Public Hearing
When: Wednesday, October 12, between 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Frank Wagner Elementary, 115 Dickinson Rd, Monroe, WA 98272
To learn more check out the project website:
Here is the direct link to the Environmental Assessment Document. Note that Appendix G includes the conceptual design for river access at milepost 6.9.