H. R. 2352
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 24, 2011
Mr. Hastings of Washington introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the boundary of the Stephen Mather Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park in order to allow the rebuilding of a road outside of the floodplain while ensuring that there is no net loss of acreage to the Park or the Wilderness, and for other purposes.
Congress finds as follows:
In 1988, 93 percent of the North Cascades National Park Complex was designated the Stephen Mather Wilderness.
A road corridor was deliberately excluded from the wilderness designation to provide for the continued use and maintenance of the upper Stehekin Valley Road.
The upper Stehekin Valley Road provides access to Stephen Mather Wilderness trailheads and North Cascades National Park from the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.
Record flooding in 1995 and again in 2003 caused severe damage to the upper Stehekin Valley Road and led to the closure of a 9.9-mile section of the road between Car Wash Falls and Cottonwood Camp.
The National Park Service currently does not have the flexibility to rebuild the upper Stehekin Valley Road away from the Stehekin River due to the current location of the non-wilderness road corridor provided by Congress in 1988.
It is a high priority that the people of the United States, including families, the disabled, and the elderly, have reasonable access to the National Parks system and their public lands.
The 1995 Lake Chelan National Recreation Area General Management Plan calls for retaining vehicle access to Cottonwood Camp.
Tourism associated with the North Cascades National Park Complex is an important part of the economy for rural communities in the area.
Additional management flexibility would allow the National Park Service to consider retention of the upper Stehekin Valley Road in a manner that provides for no net loss of wilderness.
Authorization for boundary adjustments
The Washington Park Wilderness Act of 1988 (Public Law 100–668) is amended by inserting after section 206 the following:
Boundary adjustments for road
The Secretary may adjust the boundaries of the North Cascades National Park and the Stephen Mather Wilderness in order to provide a 100-foot-wide corridor along which the Stehekin Valley Road may be rebuilt—
outside of the floodplain between milepost 12.9 and milepost 22.8;
within the boundaries of the North Cascades National Park; and
outside of the boundaries of the Stephen Mather Wilderness.
No net loss of lands
The boundary adjustments made under this section shall be such that equal acreage amounts are exchanged between the Stephen Mather Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park, resulting in no net loss of acreage to either the Stephen Mather Wilderness or the North Cascades National Park.