Public invited to comment on future of the Enchanted Valley Chalet

The National Park Service has released an environmental assessment (EA) for the final disposition of the Enchanted Valley Chalet.

The 30-day public review and comment period will close on August 2, 2020. 

This EA, which incorporates responses to comments received during the public scoping process in 2016, evaluates impacts of the proposed project on cultural and natural resources, wilderness character, and visitor use and experience.

Among the options for the Chalet it includes dismantling and removing the building, which is currently the Preferred Alternative. Also possible would be relocating the Chalet or taking no action.

The following alternatives were suggestions that were considered but dismissed for various reasons.

  • Burn the chalet in place as is, or dismantle it, remove unburnable materials via pack or pack stock, and burn all burnable materials in place.
  • Set the chalet in place in its current location on a new, natural foundation.
  • Move the chalet to the forested low ridge surface upslope of the proposed location in alternative C. 
  • Move the chalet to another wilderness location outside the Enchanted Valley or dismantle the structure and rebuild it in another location within the Enchanted Valley, but not on the river terrace upon which it currently rests. 
  • Move the chalet to Kestner Homestead or to another historic district within the park. 
  • Dismantle and reconstruct the chalet in a frontcountry location in the park. 
  • River channel modification or bank stabilization. 
  • Use the chalet for recreational purposes. 

An explanation for the dismissal for each of these alternatives can be found in the EA (pages 17-18).

During the public comment period, the National Park Service (NPS) will host one virtual public meeting where Olympic National Park staff will conduct a presentation on the EA followed by a question and answer session. 

That meeting will be held from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm PDT on Wednesday, July 15. 

See the newsletter, press release, or click on the link to “Meeting Notices” at the website for the project.

The purpose of the project is to determine the final disposition of the Enchanted Valley Chalet, located 13 miles up the Quinault River from the Graves Creek Trailhead within the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness. The chalet rests on the active floodplain of the Quinault River.

In early 2014, the bank had come to within 18 inches of the chalet. At that time, the park prepared a concise EA for the “Temporary Relocation of the Enchanted Valley Chalet for the Protection of the East Fork Quinault River.” In September 2014, the chalet was temporarily moved approximately 100 feet from the riverbank until a long-term decision could be reached through the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act processes. The chalet currently remains on the steel I-beams that were used to move it and is closed to public and administrative use. The bank has once again eroded to within approximately 5 feet of the nearest corner of the chalet, and the nearest portion of the river channel is about 10 feet from the bank.


The Final Disposition of the Enchanted Valley Chalet/Environmental Assessment


Enchanted Valley Chalet 2018