Process to move Chalet in Olympic National Park begins, Enchanted Valley closed to camping September 1-14

Enchanted Valley Chalet

Work to temporarily relocate the Enchanted Valley Chalet in Olympic National Park to protect the East Fork Quinault River is scheduled to begin Monday, September 1. 

Monroe House Moving, Inc. of Sequim, Washington has been awarded the contract to move the building.  The contractor plans to complete the relocation operation by mid-September, weather permitting. 

To protect contractor and visitor safety, Enchanted Valley will be closed to all public camping for the duration of the project, September 1 through 14.  

Hikers and stock users may continue to travel through the valley, but between September 1 and September 14, must be escorted by park staff.  The camping closure and escort-only hiking restriction extends from the steel bridge at the downstream end of Enchanted Valley (mile 13 on the East Fork Quinault River Trail) to one mile upriver of the chalet. 

The Graves Creek Stock Camp (located near the Graves Creek trailhead) will also be closed between September 1 and 14 to accommodate stock animals and handlers involved in transporting supplies and equipment during the project. 

“Visitor, employee and contractor safety is our top priority,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.  “Moving a two-story structure is inherently risky. We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation during the process of relocating the chalet.” 

Using industry standard house-moving techniques, the contractor will move the Enchanted Valley Chalet a distance of 50 to 100 feet from its current location where it is undercut and in danger of collapsing into the East Fork Quinault River.  The threats to natural and wilderness resources posed by the structure collapsing into the river warrant temporary relocation of the building.  Additionally, preventing the chalet from imminent collapse will allow time to examine and plan for the long-term future of the structure. 

The chalet relocation project was examined in the “Emergency Action to Temporarily Relocate the Enchanted Valley Chalet for the Protection of the East Fork Quinault River Environmental Assessment” (EA) and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued on July 25. 

The National Park Service is charged with protecting all of Olympic National Park’s priceless resources, from historic structures to fish, to the unique and irreplaceable character of the Olympic Wilderness. 

The Enchanted Valley Chalet is located 13 miles from the nearest road, deep within the Olympic Wilderness.  The chalet was constructed by Quinault Valley residents in the early 1930s, prior to establishment of Olympic National Park.  The chalet served for several decades as a backcountry lodge and more recently, as a wilderness ranger station and emergency shelter.  The chalet was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.    

Photos shared by park visitors in early January showed that the main channel of the East Fork Quinault River had migrated to within 18 inches of the 1930s-era chalet.  Last winter’s storms and high flows resulted in the Quinault’s main channel continuing to shift by at least 15 feet.   Recent photographs show that the river has undercut the building by approximately eight feet.  

Migration of the East Fork Quinault’s channel is common in the loose, unconsolidated soils of Enchanted Valley.  Storms, fallen trees, rockslides and simply the constant process of erosion can all cause the river to shift and carve a new channel. 

The EA and the FONSI, along with other supporting documents, are available for review at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/EVCEA.  

Leader of Bakken drug ring gets 20 years prison

By By MATTHEW BROWN BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge has sentenced the leader of an interstate drug ring to 20 years in prison for his role in a trafficking operation that stretched from western Washington to the Bakken oil fields of the Northern Plains…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offers online hunting tips

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

OLYMPIA – Wildlife biologists with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have compiled the best information available to help hunters have a successful hunting season.

Those reports, which include information for every region of the state, can be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/prospects/ .

“This is one of the best planning resources available for hunting in Washington,” said Dave Ware, game manager for WDFW.

The reports include information on deer, elk, waterfowl, turkey, upland birds and other species, as well as suggestions on techniques and places to hunt, and other details that will help hunters improve their chances in the field.

“We encourage hunters to spend time reviewing all the information, not just familiar hunting areas,” adds Ware. “Washington has an incredible diversity of habitats and game populations. These prospects provide insights into all the locations and species to hunt.” 

Staff reports are available for all 17 wildlife districts in the state. Each district has at least one biologist responsible for monitoring local wildlife populations and recommending appropriate seasons, based on criteria such as past hunter success and typical weather patterns.

Hunters should pay attention to reports from districts, such as District 6, that were affected by this summer’s wildfires. Those reports include information on hunter access and adjustments to hunting permits.

Additional resources at WDFW’s website include:

Fatal bike accident closes downtown Seattle block

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Police say a bicyclist was hit and killed near the Seattle Art Museum during the Friday morning commute…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News

Bakken arrests lead to prison sentences

By By The Associated Press A Washington state man is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Friday after authorities say he led an interstate trafficking ring that brought methamphetamine into the Northern Plains’ Bakken oil patch. At least twelve other defendants in Montana linked by authorities to alleged ringleader Robert Farrell Armstrong have been sentenced. Five more have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News

Competency check for teen accused in girl's death

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — Kitsap County prosecutors say a 17-year-old accused in the rape and killing of 6-year-old Jenise Wright will be evaluated next week to see if he’s competent to stand trial…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News

Major Bakken drug case figure to be sentenced

By By MATTHEW BROWN BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Washington state man faces sentencing Friday in federal court on charges he led an interstate meth-trafficking ring that exploited workers in eastern Montana’s oil patch…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News

Eatonville Post Office to be named for park ranger

EATONVILLE, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is paying tribute to National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson who was shot and killed in 2012 while doing her job at Mount Rainier National Park…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News

Rehabilitated bear released back into the wild

MONROE, Wash. (AP) — An underweight black bear that used to live off a Redmond family’s bird feeder has been rehabilitated and released back into the wild…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News

Chalet in Olympic National Park to be relocated

SEQUIM, Wash. (AP) — Park officials say the Enchanted Valley Chalet in Olympic National Park is being relocated to protect the east fork of the Quinault (KWIH’-nawlt) River…. …read more

From:: AP Washington News