Olympic National Park Releases General Management Plan

Olympic National Park officials have released the final General Management Plan, a hefty, two-volume document that will guide park operations for the next 15-20 years. Within its 950 pages the document discusses park expansion and improvements at Hurricane Ridge.

Now, I have not had time to leaf through those those 950 pages to glean every nuance, every tweak for how the park is to be managed for the coming years. However, in a press release park officials say key items that the document signs off on include:

* Maintaining access to existing developed areas, park trails, campgrounds, and facilities;

* Allowing for improvements to the downhill ski support facilities at Hurricane Ridge, with no area expansion;

* Seeking additional partnerships to help provide enhanced visitor access and enjoyment (e.g. alternative transit options, expanded interpretive and educational opportunities) and better protection of sensitive resources;

* Boundary adjustments through willing selling purchases or land exchanges to incorporate sensitive resource areas within the park (e.g. fish habitat, wetlands);

* Continued protection of wilderness resources and cultural resources within wilderness.


Not everyone, though, is entirely pleased with this document, which now undergoes a 30-day review before officially being signed off on. Some chambers of commerce surrounding the park had sought more on-the-ground changes. For instance, "the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce had urged the park to adopt a plan for Hurricane Ridge that would have paved Obstruction Point road and increased the parking," reports the Peninsula Daily News

The Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, had asked for expansion of the Hurricane Ridge ski area and a hold on expanding the park -- "they can't pay for what they have now," Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Russ Veenema told the newspaper.

You can read more local reaction to the GMP here.

Comments

I have nothing against the Port Angeles Regional COC, but to use "they can't pay for what they have now" as an excuse for not expanding the park is pretty lame in my opinion - very few NPS units can pay for what they have now...it's a shame PARCOC couldn't come up with a more original reason for not liking the GMP.

Link to more information from the Peninsula Daily News:
Looking at goals for 14 areas of Olympic National Park

Then there is the drafting of a wilderness management plan:
Now, on to other studies

A fun NPS link:
Planning, Environment and Public Comment