SAWS Action Alert: Mt St Helens Advisory Committee - Future of the Mounument
SAWS email today:
Today I received the request below from Carl Schmalenberger, the President of the Mt St Helens Tracriders, with a request for help from our SAWS members.
Please write a short letter to state that you support the Mt St Helens Monument remaining under Forest Service management, and that you do not support a proposal to have the monument moved under control and management of the National Park Service.
We certainly do not want to see Mt St Helens become the next Yellowstone National Park saga attempting an outright ban on snowmobile use.
FYI, An update on the Mt St Helens Advisory Committee.
Could you forward this to the SAWS members and urge them to send a short email with there comments?
The committee has received about 34 emails from individuals (most favoring the forest service) and about 640 form letters from a link generated from the National Parks Conservation Association web page.
It appears that the committee is taking in to account that the 640 comments are one form letter.
I was dissapointed with the local turn out at the first public comment meeting.
There were about 20 speakers ( 15 for forest service and 2 for parks)
There is one more next month ( place and time in the press release).
I realize it can be hard to make a meeting in person, but lets see if we can get an increase in
email comments for keeping Mt St Helens in the forest service.
Let everyone know it just takes a minute to send a brief email in there own words supporting
the forest service.
The attatched press release is the rough draft of the committees recomendations.
Thanks for your efforts and the time it takes.
I have a hard enough time keeping up with our local issues.
Give me a call if you have any questions.
Mt St Helens Tracriders
Mt St Helens Advisory Committee
For Immediate Release
Draft Recommendations on the Future of the Monument
The congressionally impaneled advisory committee met in an open public retreat session on February 27th & 28th in Longview to work through draft recommendations on the future of the monument. This followed a year of public meetings held in locations throughout SW Washington. These recommendations are designed to be released to the public for public comment before the committee adopts final recommendations for presentation to our Congressional delegation.
The Committee has agreed to the following meeting schedule:
Monday March 30th for Public Comment in Kelso in the Commissioners Hearing Room from 6-9pm.
Monday April 13th for Public Comment in the Camas Police Department Community Room, 2100 NE 3rd St., Camas, WA from 6-9pm.
Thursday May 14th all day at the Cowlitz County Regional Conference Center for drafting final recommendations. Open to the public. No Public Comment.
Comments may also be emailed to SHACComments@co.skamania.wa.us
The draft recommendations are listed as follow :
· Properly fund maintenance of all trails, roads and facilities
· Improve and expand access
o Fund and build 504 all-weather road extension from Coldwater to US12
o Fund and build 503 spur all-weather road from Cougar to Carson
o Upgrade FS Road 25 to all-weather road, Level 5 Standard
· Reinvest in Coldwater Ridge as an overnight destination to include science, interpretation, education, visitor services, food and university partnerships
· Insure visitor and emergency communication capability around the Monument
· Develop and fund an Emergency Response Plan
· Provide adequate, non-federal utility service where needed in the Monument
· Shift responsibility for the Spirit Lake tunnel to the Corp of Engineers
· Recreational opportunities should be broadened to embrace a diverse and responsible use of the forest
· Adequately fund and maintain recreational facilities
· Create camping facilities using Lower Falls as a template
· Recommend more recreational activities including camping and fishing in the Restricted Area that are compatible with the Act by creating a Scientific and Recreational Advisory Committee to vet recreational opportunities and suggestions in the Restricted Area for the managing agency
· Designate seasonal recreational activity locations for motorized and non-motorized participants
· The Restricted Area should be left to unimpeded recovery maintaining the geological and ecological processes as well as the integrity of the features
· Visitor impacts and carrying capacity of the Restricted Area will be consistent with the goals of the Act
· No road building in the Monument
· Support coordinated partnerships with all stakeholders to control invasive species
· Maintain habitat protection
· Encourage partnerships with voluntary organizations
· Expand science funding with specific emphasis on more direct public education and broader interpretive and applied science programs
· Dedicate the Monument Scientist to science
· Provide an expanded science experience for visitors
· Promote the Monument as a scientific laboratory
o Involve the universities and community colleges
o Develop new technologies
Continue to develop relationships with industrial land owners bordering the Monument
Encourage relationships with emerging technologies and industry in remote sensing, robotics, nanotechnology and renewable energy
Create an R&D laboratory setting for technology applications in harsh environments
Continue to address recreation and tourism as industrial components
Develop destination resorts in and around the Monument
Develop a year-round regionally coordinated marketing plan
Fully fund the managing agency’s interpretive programs
Develop a regional tourism network (Destination Marketing Organization)
Develop a user-friendly, unified (state and federal) fee system
Develop products and services that will enhance visitors’ experience
Establish and fund a Special Use Permit process for the Monument
Retain Forest Service management
Create an administrative unit consisting of existing Federal lands west of and including the 25 Road with no expansion of the Monument boundary
The Monument itself must be a line item funded from the Mandatory portion of the Forest Service budget
This model should be used as a template for “Special Places” within the National Forest Service system, as the current model has failed
Require an annual meeting with stakeholder groups
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE GIVEN FURTHER CONSIDERATION FOLLOWING PUBLIC COMMENT:
Ongoing role for the Advisory Committee
Cooperative Agency Status
Partnership agreements with state, local, federal entities and other stakeholders to include an annual meeting
Cooperation of counties on comprehensive planning on private lands adjacent to the Monument
Lewis County Commissioner Lee Grose 360-740-1120
Cowlitz County Commissioner Axel Swanson 360-577-3020
Skamania County Commissioner Paul Pearce, 509-427-3700
It doesn't matter whether you live in the West or just visit, do your part to help protect this riding area.
Make your voice heard.
__________________ Scars heal,
All we're left with are the Memories we made.