A Stehekin community group says the National Park Service plan to eventually acquire private land threatened by Stehekin River flooding needs major revisions before it’s acceptable to many of the people who live there.
Stehekin Heritage says the agency has already acquired more than 75 percent of the private land in the Stehekin Valley since the North Cascades National Park was established in 1968.
In September, the Park Service released the Stehekin River Corridor Implementation Plan. Cliff Courtney, vice president of Stehekin Heritage, says the residents of Stehekin are very concerned with the draft plan.
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Chip Jenkins, superintendent of the North Cascades National Park complex, said the corridor plan is not about acquiring more private land; it’s an attempt to protect the Stehekin Valley from the frequent flooding seen in recent years.
Courtney understands but strongly disagrees.. saying the valley cannot afford to lose any more private land and that acquisition should not even be on the table. Courtney said Stehekin Heritage wants land exchanges within the Stehekin Valley instead of purchases."CLICK HERE" for Audio
The acquisition language has been in the Park Service’s Land Protection Plan for 16 years, but that plan is being revisited as part of the corridor plan.
The Stehekin Heritage is asking for a socioeconomic investigation evaluating the plan’s impacts on Stehekin’s economic viability, and a moratorium on land acquisitions until the investigation is complete.
The public comment period on the Stehekin River Corridor Implementation Plan ends soon and Courtney is looking for your help in keeping Stehekin in the hands of the people."CLICK HERE" for Audio
For more information visit StehekinHeritage.com