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American Whitewater Comments on Sultan River Trail

Posted: 10/30/2012
by Megan Hooker

Earlier this month the Forest Service invited comment on the maintenance of Forest Road 6122 and the proposed new Sultan River Trail to provide access to the Sultan Gorge.

 The Sultan River Canyon Trail was identified as a necessary mitigation measure and a key component of the Settlement Agreement to address recreation needs at the Jackson Project.

At one time, paddlers could drive FR 6122 to the river and an access point at the old stringer bridge. A series of landslides and a lack of maintenance on FR 6122 over the past three decades has effectively resulted in the loss of convenient public access to the river. As this historic access deteriorated, miners and whitewater kayakers created a new path to the river that resulted in environmental concerns and social conflicts and did not meet Forest Service trail standards. Stakeholders in the relicensing proceeding determined that a multi-purpose public access trail to the Sultan River and Sultan River Canyon would effectively meet recreational goals of the Jackson Project and be in the public interest. This measure, along with others in the Settlement Agreement, was evaluated under the National Environmental Policy Act through an Environmental Assessment and subsequent License Order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

As part of this project, the Forest Service opened a comment period on the installation of two relief culverts on FR 6122 and the removal of 6100 cubic yards of fill from the two culvert locations. We support these activities as consistent with the overall project to construct the Sultan River Canyon Trail, which has already been extensively reviewed as part of the hydropower licensing proceeding.

Individual comments are not essential but if you wish to comment to support this project, the public support always helps. Review the announcement for instructions on comments and our comments for additional background.


Associated Rivers

Associated Projects

Sultan River (WA)
AW is working to improve flows and public access for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and paddlers as part of hydropower relicensing on this river.