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Cattle Point Road realignment: Cape San Juan, Cattle Point Estates neighborhood associations host meeting on Sept. 18

The draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Cattle Point Road realignment at American Camp has been released for public review and comment.

The document is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkID=340.

You can also request a copy or CD by e-mail at cattlepointroad@dot.gov. Copies are available for review at the San Juan Island Library, 1010 Guard St.; the National Park Service office, 650 Mullis St.; and San Juan County Public Works, 915 Spring St.

The document describes three alternatives for the proposed road re-alignment, located on the slopes of Mount Finlayson about eight miles south of Friday Harbor.

The study recommends "alternative B", which is further up Mount Finlayson than the current road but not all the way at the top. The document discusses environmental impacts and describes important mitigation and remediation plans, which includes plans to remove the old road and restore the contour and native plants.

Cattle Point Road is the only road access to the east end of the Cattle Point peninsula, which is home to about 270 residents. A 500-foot section of Cattle Point Road is threatened by coastal erosion. Coastal wind and wave action is eroding the base of the bluff that supports the road at a rate of about 0.86 feet per year; however, larger sections of the bluff have the potential to slide during a major storm. The proposed project would maintain vehicular access for residents and visitors without threat of road failure from coastal erosion.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement was released jointly by the National Park Service, Federal Highways Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The process addresses the environmental consequences of the alternatives on a range of environmental resources including wildlife, cultural and historic resources, visual quality, visitor uses, and socioeconomics.

The agencies are accepting comments from the public and agencies interested in the proposed project during a 60-day public review and comment period. A public open house will be scheduled during the comment period, possibly the week of Oct. 4. The date and location will be announced separately in local media and on the project website.

Written comments may be submitted at the above websites, by mail or in person at the following addresses:

— Diane Spencer, Environmental Project manager, Federal Highway Administration, 610 E. Fifth St., Vancouver, WA. 98661

— Peter Dederich, superintendent, San Juan Island National Historical Park, P.O. Box 429, Friday Harbor, WA. 98250

Dederich and County Councilwoman Lovel Pratt, San Juan South, will attend a neighborhood meeting Sept. 18, 2 p.m. in the Cape San Juan Firehall and Community Room. The meeting is being presented by the Cape San Juan and Cattle Point Estates neighborhood associations. The meeting will be about 90 minutes long.

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