from NPS Glacier National Park:WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park today announced plans to seek public comments for a proposed project to stabilize the existing Heavens Peak Lookout.
The National Park Service (NPS) has decided to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for the project to review all possible resource issues from the proposed Heavens Peak Lookout stabilization. This environmental analysis will begin this summer (2010), with a goal of having the EA completed by spring 2011.
The goal of the project is to stabilize the historic Heavens Peak fire lookout that was built by conscientious objectors during World War II. Stabilization of the lookout would slow down the accelerating deterioration so that this historic structure can remain on the landscape as part of Glacier National Park’s cultural history.
Constructed in 1945, the Heavens Peak Lookout was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 and embodies the NPS rustic design philosophy of buildings that are “harmonious” with the landscape. The lookout is located on Heavens Peak, within recommended wilderness inside Glacier National Park. It lies within an area of high grizzly bear density.
Heavens Peak Lookout is structurally sound at this time, but the deteriorating roof and missing shutters threaten its long-term survival. The proposed project would repair the roof, shutters and exposed exterior wood surfaces, paint the exterior and stabilize the masonry. Glacier National Park Fund would pay for the stabilization as one of their legacy projects in honor of the park’s Centennial.
In addition to the proposed action, two other alternatives have been identified to date: 1) no action, in which case the lookout would eventually be lost, and 2) rehabilitation which would fully rehabilitate the lookout and re-build the trail access to the lookout.
Comments and concerns on the proposed Heavens Peak Stabilization project should be submitted online by Monday, August 16, 2010, at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/glac or mailed to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Heavens Peak Lookout EA, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936. There will be another opportunity for review and comment when the environmental assessment is completed.
This announcement appears to represent a change in plans. This fully funded Glacier Park Fund legacy project was supposed to get underway next month according to earlier announcements.
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