Jan 24, 2011
Stehekin Heritage members met weekly
since October 19th to review two critical draft plans proposed by the
National Park Service. The summary of our work is presented below. We
approached our review of these plans with a central point of view, that
being, the desire to support management practices that sustain the
heritage and perpetuation of the Stehekin Community.
Please help us by responding to the National Park Service.
have until February 11th to support management practices that
acknowledge the value of private property and the Stehekin Community***The
Stehekin Heritage organization is requesting your assistance.
Currently, the National Park Service (NPS) is asking for responses to
two draft plans: The Stehekin River Corridor Implementation Plan (SRCIP) and the Land Protection Plan
(LPP). The last time valley residents and the public were given an
opportunity to respond to an LPP was fifteen years ago. It could be
another fifteen years before we have this opportunity again. Please join
us and write Superintendent Palmer Jenkins (and your elected officials) concerning these plans.
believe there has never been a time when letters from those who support
the Stehekin Community have been more critical. We are hoping that,
after reviewing the material
on the Stehekin Heritage website, you will write the NPS and elected
officials supporting the Stehekin Community and management positions
presented by Stehekin Heritage.
During the past
two years, the NPS has developed the SRCIP and LPP draft plans for
public consideration. This planning effort reached its peak on October
19th when NPS planners met in Stehekin with valley residents and
presented an overview of these planning documents. Valley residents were
surprised by many elements of these proposed plans. Most surprising
were changes made in the LPP concerning land acquisition.
administrators verbally assured us that there is no intention to acquire
all Stehekin private property. Our question is: at what point does land
Draft Land Protection Plan, Page 35, section 5.2 , Land Protection Priorities: "Individual tracts were assigned a potential acquisition priority
(emphasis added) based on the objective scoring system described for
the criteria above. Tract by tract priorities are shown in table 1; a
summary of priorities includes:
High Priority — 271.50 acres
Medium Priority — 141.22 acres
Low Priority — 4.75 acres
Heritage asserts that continued land acquisition by the National Park
Service (NPS) in the Stehekin Valley will, unquestionably, lead to the
demise of the Stehekin Community.Continued land
acquisition is inconsistant with management policies that support the
preservation of community life in the valley. The NPS management
strategy of continued land acquisition, and the Stehekin Heritage goal
of sustaining Stehekin Community life are at odds.
We hope you will consider writing the NPS and elected officials stating at a minimum that:
• The National Park Service (NPS) join Chelan County and conduct
a socio-economic impact analysis and investigation of the effects of
continued land acquisition on the future of the Stehekin Community. (more information here. . .)
• Until this socio-economic impact analysis is completed, that
the NPS and Chelan County work to enact an immediate moratorium on
Federal purchase of private property in Stehekin Valley.
• The Land Protection Plan must state overtly in the overall objectives and goals that: It
is a management goal of the National Park Service to support an active,
viable community of people living and working in Stehekin as an
enhancement to the visitor appreciation and use of the Lake Chelan
National Recreation Area.
order for Stehekin to sustain a unique and valuable private community
into the future, the security and permanence of the valley's current
private land base is critical. The value of Stehekin's private
community is proven over time, noteworthy enough to be set aside in
legislation and preferred by the visiting public.
land base within the valley has been reduced by seventy five percent of
original private ownership since 1968 affecting the future character of
Stehekin. With lands being removed from private ownership without
limitation, we are at a critical point in time as to whether the value
of Stehekin's one of a kind culture can continue.
Our goal is to
preserve and protect what remaining private lands exist in Stehekin and
call for "No further net loss of private land base value." We champion
the cause that all pertinent governing agencies recognize, adopt and
support this principle, thereby displaying support for the future of the
private community within Stehekin, by assuring permanence of our land
Other Essential Planning Elements to Support:
• The NPS should continue to honor current land trade activity
(with no net loss of private property land base value) but agree to a
moratorium on all land acquisition until the above investigation is
conducted. (more. . .)
• If the goal of the NPS is to "trade" properties endangered by the river, "Let the River Decide" which pieces are most threatened and need prioritized, and trade only those vulnerable lands. Priority lists would be only for trading purposes.
Land trades should be carefully crafted so that the owner receives the
same value for their original piece with all property rights intact.
Value is defined not only by dollar amount but also by potential uses of
the original property. (more. . .)
• Maintain the Stehekin Valley Road at its present location
and protect the road from the river both adjacent to the road and also
at strategic locations away from the road where it can be predicted,
with a high degree of certainty, to harm the road if allowed to erode. (road alignment, Alternative 5)
• Change all "acquisition" priorities to read "exchange" priorities. See section 5.2. LPP (more. . .)
• Separate the SRCIP and the LPP
to allow an extended timetable for study of the impacts of the LPP,
while immediately implementing river control and road protections
measures listed in the SRCIP. Also expand the list of river projects
where needed and allow for flexibility for future required work as
changes occur. (Cliff's letter)
• Remove appendix C — the Overlay District - from the plan. (more. . .)
• Support Alternative 5
- This alternative represents a common sense, practical management
philosophy that is consistent with enacting legislation, supports a
sustained vibrant community, public access and recreation. Additionally,
Alternative 5 supports land trades (with a no net loss of existing land
base or value) keeping the road in its original alignment, protecting
the road from river erosion, and improving visitor access. (Link to
Heritage believes that supporting these planning objectives and
management policies will sustain the heritage and perpetuation of the
LETTERS MUST BE SENT TO THE NPS
NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 11TH.
Please share your letters with us as examples to encourage others. We will publish some to the Stehekin Heritage website.
Ron Scutt, President Stehekin Heritage
John and Patty Wilsey
Tom and Liz Courtney
Nick and Nancy Davis
Mark and Monica Courtney