|2/8/2013 12:32:00 PM|
Mine cleanup will disrupt water bus service in Holden
|From Elka Missal|
Information Assistant Entiat and Chelan Ranger Districts
Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Service officials are encouraging recreationists to plan ahead this year if visiting Lucerne, Holden Village, and/or surrounding forest trails.
Starting May 1, water bus transportation operated by Holden Village between Lucerne (at Lake Chelan) and Holden, will only operate on Saturdays and Sundays in coordination with the Lady of the Lake boat schedule. The planned reduction in the number of bus trips between Lucerne and Holden is a result of increased Holden Mine Remediation activities starting this spring.
Holden Mine is an inactive mine located on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest about 50 miles north of the city of Chelan and 12 miles west of Lake Chelan along Railroad Creek. The Railroad Creek valley offers access to the Glacier Peak Wilderness from the Lake Chelan area and therefore these recent changes affect access to the Wilderness Area. Remediation (clean-up) of the Holden Mine is a combined effort of the U.S. Forest Service, Intalco Corporation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Department of Ecology and Holden Village.
It is the largest remediation project on Forest Service lands in the United States. This spring will mark the first of several heavy construction seasons as part of the implementation phase of the Holden Mine clean-up project.
The popular Glacier Peak Wilderness trail systems, Hart Lake/Lyman Lake Trail No. 1256 and the Pacific Crest Trail No. 2000 will remain open and accessible for through-hikers throughout the implementation phase of the project. A re-route has been constructed for hikers to use between the Holden Village bus drop-off area and the Hart Lake/Lyman Lake Trailhead around the clean-up operations.
Additionally, Holden Village will not be accepting guest reservations between May 1st and November 27th due to the heavy construction in and around the village anticipated this field season. Hikers will not be able to stay overnight at Holden Village. The Forest Service campground, located less than a mile west of Holden Village at the entrance to the Glacier Peak Wilderness area, will remain open throughout the remediation activities. Hikers that had planned to stay at Holden Village as part of a trip into Glacier Peak Wilderness Area can consider camping at the Forest Service campground in order to comply with the Saturday/Sunday bus schedule. Camping is not permitted on the leased grounds around Holden or on Holden Village private property. Holden operates under a special use permit with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
As a public safety measure during remediation activities, several temporary trail closures have occurred in the Railroad Creek Valley over the last few years.
As a result, it is not possible to hike between Lucerne and Holden Village during remediation activities. Hikers must utilize the Holden Village bus transportation on Saturdays and Sundays to access the Hart Lake/Lyman Lake Trailhead and Lucerne.
The following trails and surrounding areas near Holden Village are closed until the implementation phase of the project is complete.
Lower Railroad Creek Trail No. 1240 is closed from Wilson Creek to the mine tailings located between the 8 and 9 mile points. This means it is not possible to hike to or from Holden Village on this trail while this closure is in effect.
Goat Trail No. 1245.1 is closed
Tailings Bypass Trail No. 1240.3 is closed
Copper Falls Trail No. 1246.1 is closed from Goat Trail intersection for one mile south
Copper Creek Trail No. 1240.21 is closed
Miners Interpretive Trail No. 1245 is closed
Monkey Bear Falls No. 1256 is closed
For more information or assistance in planning a trip to the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area via Holden, please call the Chelan Ranger District at (509) 682-4900 for the latest updates on trail closures, re-routes and/or transportation to wilderness trailheads.
For more information about the Holden Mine Remediation Project please visit www.fs.usda.gov/okawen/.
For information about the Holden Village operations and transportation please visit the Holden Village website at: www.holdenvillage.org
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