Wednesday, August 13, 2003
The U.S. Forest Service/Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area has completed its environmental assessment for the proposed 31-mile Klickitat Trail. The "Environmental Assessment for the Klickitat Rails-to-Trails" is available for a 30-day public review and comment period. The assessment examines a number of issues associated with trail implementation and management, and identifies a preferred alternative for the possible management of the former Burlington Northern Railroad corridor.
The Forest Service, in partnership with the Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission, has agreed to "possibly participate" in the management and operation of the former railroad right-of-way as a recreational trail upon completion of an environmental assessment and reaching a favorable management decision. The preferred alternative suggests the Forest Service manage the 15-mile segment between the communities of Lyle and Klickitat, with wider paved sections within the more urban stretches. These paved sections are intended to provide communities with a place to walk, ride bikes, and be accessible for wheelchairs.
"We are excited to have finalized the Klickitat Trail environmental assessment," said Area Manager Dan Harkenrider. "We look forward to hearing from the public during the public review opportunity."
The completed environmental assessment is available on the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area's website at: www.fs.fed.us/r6/columbia.
The National Scenic Area office will take comments for 30 days, beginning Aug. 11. Comments can be submitted in writing to Daniel T. Harkenrider, Area Manager, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, 902 Wasco Street, Suite 200, Hood River, Ore., 97031.