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The Alpine Lakes Wilderness, home to the Enchantments, is currently facing threats of expanding dams and new tunnel development inside the wilderness area. Chelan County has put forward a draft environmental impact statement that proposes these egregious projects that are illegal and a clear violation of the Wilderness Act. We are asking for your help to protect this special area before July 30th!
The Draft EIS:
- Contains projects that are illegal and do not comply with either federal or state laws
- Contains many elements that are in direct conflict with the Wilderness Act and set a dangerous precedent for all wilderness areas in the nation
- Has wildly inaccurate cost estimates and timelines for projects, ignoring the National Environmental Policy Act
- Does not include nearly enough water conservation elements
- Ignores the fact that the water rights to the areas involved do not belong to the group
- Does not provide a sufficient range of alternatives. For example, the EIS does not include a “No Action”alternative with no new dam construction
- Has projects that would have negative impacts to watersheds natural function
Not only do hundreds of residents in the Upper Wenatchee Valley hike and climb in the Enchantments, but thousands of people travel from around the state, country and world to experience the high-quality hiking, climbing, and mountaineering opportunities which exist in one of the most stunning alpine landscapes of the state. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is one of the most popular National Forest wilderness areas in the country. Furthermore, the Enchantment Lakes Basin and surrounding area is one of the most treasured areas in the Alpine Lakes, renowned for its rugged beauty, enchanting lakes, and breadth of recreational opportunities. This is an area where management decisions require the utmost scrutiny and adherence to sustaining wilderness values.
There will be two informational public meetings available for interested individuals who wish to learn more to attend and express their opinions:
- Monday June 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the State Department of Ecology office in Bellevue, WA (3190 – 160th Avenue S.E.).
- Wednesday June 27, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, at the Leavenworth Festhalle, 1001 Front Street, Leavenworth, WA.