Evergreen Islands

PO Box 223 Anacortes, WA 98221

______________________________

March 5, 1999

Mr. Daniel Farber

Parks Planner

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

PO Box 42650

Olympia, WA 98504-2650

 

Dear Daniel:

The following attachment includes Evergreen Islands’ comments (our comments are shown in italics) on the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s Classification and Management Planning (CAMP) Project for Deception Pass State Park.

Evergreen Islands is a local organization of environmental advocates. Our purpose is to promote protect, and defend the unique ecosystems of Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands, with particular emphasis on the quality of human interaction and its impact on the environment. In 1976 Evergreen Island opposed the proposed clearcutting of lovely Hoypus Hill. As a result of Evergreen Islands’ intervention, a model 35-year selective logging plan was developed for Hoypus Hill with the Department of Natural Resources. In view of this action, Evergreen Islands is a stakeholder, and we ask that our comments be considered during the park management planning.

In summary, Evergreen Island wholeheartedly endorses Washington State Parks’ proposals to protect old growth forest ecosystems, wetlands, dune areas, intertidal areas, riparian areas and streams, wildlife habitat, threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant species. We strongly support the environmental protections that are embodied in Management Approach A, however our specific comments are contained in the following attachment.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Tom Glade

Vice President

Evergreen Islands

I.

Park-Wide

A. General Issues

1. Park Mission And Objectives

2. Boundary Delineation And Relationship Between Park And Adjacent Property Owners

a) If possible the parks should request the minimum of a 100’ buffer along the park boundary. The buffer would mitigate the inevitable loss of trees during wind storms.

3. Wildfire Prevention/Suppression

a) If the conditions permit, some wildfires should be allowed to burn in order to stimulate the growth of native plants, impair insect infestations, and retard the growth of invasive plants.

4. Park Fees

a) Rather than requiring the park pay for itself through concessions, etc., Evergreen Islands prefers that the park fees be adjusted to meet the park’s costs.

5. Transportation Corridors

a) Since both Management Approaches A & B are nearly identical, Evergreen Islands strongly endorses both approaches:

(1) Retention and/or sensitive modification of CCC-era guard rails and Deception Pass and Canoe Pass bridges in order to retain heritage character along SR20.

(2) No expansion of SR20

(3) No re-establishment of Hoypus Point Ferry

(4) Couple provision of public transportation to park from Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands with reduced parking spaces at West Beach and other high use areas of the park. Also promote HOV and public transportation options between NAS Whidbey - especially Navy personnel - and the park.

(5) Provide input Camano Island Bridge, but advocate for inclusion of impacts on State Parks in any environmental analysis of that project. Since the west end of the proposed Camano Island Bridge appears to be very close to the Dugualla Bogs State Park, the Parks Commission should play an active role on just where that end of the bridge would be located.

(6) Agree with pedestrian underpasses at ends of both Deception Pass and Canoe Pass Bridges as currently designed by WSDOT.

(7) Provide for improved and safe pedestrian and bicycle access along SR20 the entire length of the park, and connect that access with regional trail and bikeway systems.

6. Land Classification

7. Public Involvement

8. Interpretation/Environmental Education

9. Park Residence Plan

10. Visitor Service And Information

11. Park Information Systems

12.

Park Enterprise

a) Evergreen Islands is generally opposed to Management Approach B. Commercial activities detract from the natural beauty and serenity of this beautiful spot.

b) Evergreen Islands strongly opposes the concept of a major park restaurant or lodge/restaurant/resort combination. Such a development would destroy the singular beauty of this area. The development would increase park usage when the park is already bursting at the seams.

c) Since parks such as Yosemite National Park are moving their concessions outside the parks, the Parks Commission should strive to avoid repeating those same mistakes that degrade a visitor’s ability to assimilate the wildness.

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. General Vegetation Management

2. Marine Resource Management

a) Evergreen Islands strongly opposes marine pump out stations that require adjacent septic systems to handle the waste. The commercial marinas in Oak Harbor, Skyline, La Conner, and Anacortes have pump out stations whose waste is processed by the local municipal sewage treatment plants. A prior proposal to install a marine pump out station including a septic system at Bowman’s Bay was preposterous!

3. Protection Of Fish And Wildlife

4. Protection Of Mature/Old Growth Forest Ecosystems

a) Evergreen Islands recommends that the 1500 acres of mature and old growth forest be classified as Natural Area Preserves. Since less than 3% of the country’s old growth forests remain, these forests need to be preserved as national heritage sites, for truly our children can only inherit the ancient forests if we have the foresight to protect them.

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Cultural Resource Protection

2. Establishing A Native American Cultural/Interpretative Center

D. Recreation Resource Issues

1. Visitor Protection/Law Enforcement

2. Visitor Waste Reduction And Recycling

3. Relationship With Whidbey NAS

4. Visitor Crowding

5. Trail Use, Development, And Signing

a) Development of new trails generally impacts both vegetation and wildlife habitat. Evergreen Islands recommends that new trail development be screened by a rigorous trail impact study before any new trails are developed. Trails that allow mountain bikes and horses generally impact the environment much more than foot trails, and as such, they should be required to meet a higher requirement level. The Anacortes Forest is honeycombed with trails and very little wildlife habitat has been left undisturbed.

6. Marine Access/Camping Opportunities

7.

Equestrian Camping Areas

a) Evergreen Islands is opposed to additional equestrian camping areas. The areas require disproportionate amounts of land for use as horse-trailer parking areas and corrals. Additional tow vehicles with horse trailers will worsen an already bad traffic problem.

8. Orienteering

a) Both orienteering and rock climbing should be limited to areas whose wildlife habitats will not be adversely affected.

9. Rock Climbing

II.

Bowman Bay / Rosario Beach Sub-Area - General Issues

A. Natural Resource Issues

1. Interpretation/Environmental Education

2. Property Acquisition / Surplus

3. Protection Of Intertidal Areas

B. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Archaeological Resources

2. Protection Of Historic Properties

C. Recreation Resource Issues

1. Marine Facilities Renovation / Development

a) Evergreen Islands strongly opposes expanding the boat launch facility at Bowman Bay. Facilitating power boats in Bowman Bay would not only destroy its natural setting and serenity, but the additional parking lot required for boat trailers and tow vehicles would devour its already limited land. Also the narrow winding road to the Bay is not appropriate for large boats on trailers. The boat launch should be limited to boats under 16’ in length and promoted as a place to sail, kayak, and row small boats. Prohibit personal water craft in the bay!

2. Water Oriented Recreation

a) Evergreen Islands recommends banning noisy and obnoxious personal water craft from Bowman’s Bay and other confined bodies of water.

3. Trail Use, Development, Signing

a) Evergreen Islands recommends eliminating equestrian and bicycle use on the trails in this area. The area is a small pocket whose beauty will easily be destroyed unless extreme care is taken to protect it.

III.

Bowman Hill/Pass Island Sub-Area

A. General Issues

1. Adjacent Land Uses

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Mature/Old Growth Forest Ecosystems

a) The old growth forest should be classified as a Natural Area Preserve.

2. Pass Island Pollution Control

3. Protection/Enhancement Of Riparian Areas/Streams

4. Protection Of Wildlife Habitat

5. Slope / Stability Erosion

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Historic Properties - Prison Caves, CCC Developments

2. Protection Of Daughters Of American Revolution (DAR) Plaque

D. Recreational Resource Issues

1. Visitor Protection / Law Enforcement

2. Trail Use And Development

a) Equestrian and bicycle use of Bowman Hill should not be permitted!

3. View Sheds

a) Evergreen Islands strongly prefers Management Plant A. Human-made structures, other than the CCC-era structures and navigation structures should not be visible from the primary view point.

4. View Point Development

5. Visitor Sanitation

6. Property Acquisition

7. Adjacent Land Uses

IV.

Pass Lake Sub-Area

A. General Issues

1. Property Acquisition

a) Evergreen Islands strongly supports acquisition of Mount Hi G and the Shine property. An adjacent 24.89 acres are for sale by Richard L. Sands, Inc. (2201 Skyline Way, Suite 103, Anacortes, WA 98221. 360-293-1255 Richard@richardsandsinc.com).

2. Adjacent Land Uses

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. Protection of Pass Lake Water Quality

2. Protection of Pass Lake Fishery

3. Protection Of Wildlife Habitat

4. General Vegetation Management

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection of Cultural Landscape

2. Protection of Historic Properties

D. Recreational Resource Issues

1. Highway Safety

2. Facilities Maintenance

3. Drinking Water Source Development

4. Visitor Sanitation

5. Trail Use, Development, Signing

6. Harvesting of Edibles

7. Boat Launch Facility

V.

Hoypus / Cornet Bay Marine Sub-Areas

A. General Issues

1. Property Acquisition / Surplus

2. Disposition Of Marine Crew Facilities

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Mature/Old Growth Forest Ecosystems

a) The old growth forests should be classified as Natural Area Preserves with conditional use trails and interpretative signs..

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Historic Properties - Hoypus Point Ferry Landing

2. Protection Of Archaeological Sites

D. Recreational Resource Issues

1. Boat Mooring Vs. Dock Fishing

2. Renovation/Development Of Marine Facilities

3. Infrastructure Needs

4. Trail Use, Development, And Signing

a) Cycling and equestrian use of the trails should not be permitted (the current status). The Cross Island Trail should be routed through the southern portion of Hoypus Hill.

VI.

Goose Rock/Cornet Bay ELC Sub-Area

A. General Issues

1. Property Acquisition / Surplus

2. Interpretation / Environmental Education

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Mature / Old Growth Forest Ecosystems

a) The old growth forests should be classified as Natural Area Preserves with conditional use trails and interpretative signs..

2. Protection Of Threatened, Endangered, Sensitive Plant Species

a) Goose Rock should be classified as a Natural Area Preserve with conditional use trails and interpretative signs.

3. Protection Of Wetlands

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Historic Properties - CCC Developments

D. Recreational Resource Issues

1. Facilities Maintenance

2. Trail Use, Development, Signing

3. ELC Management - Noise, Alcohol

4. Transportation Corridors

5. Property Acquisition / Surplus

VII.

Cranberry Lake Sub-Area

A. General Issues

1. Transportation Corridors

2. Property Acquisition/Surplus

a) Evergreen Islands supports acquisition of the remainder of Cranberry Lake and its wetlands.

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Dunes

2. Protection Of Wetlands

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Historic Properties - CCC Facilities

2. Protection Of Archaeological Sites

D. Recreational Resource Issues

1. Trail Use, Development, Signing

2. Cranberry Lake Information Center / Gift Shop

3. Vehicle Parking

a) Evergreen Islands supports relocating the parking into the campground area.

4. Visitor Crowding

a) Continue to turn away visitors when parking capacity is exceeded. Expansion of parking based on demand is an open-ended proposition that will devour more and more park land. The reservation program should be used to mitigate this problem.

VIII.

Outer Islands / Marine Parks Sub-Area

A. General Issues

1. Establishment Of Marine Park Advisory Committee

a) We request that an Evergreen Islands representative be included on this committee.

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Mature/Old Growth Forest Ecosystems - Hope Island

a) Northwest Island, Deception Island, Strawberry Island should be classified as Natural Area Preserves with conditional use trails and interpretative signs.

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Archaeological Sites

2. Deadman Islands

D. Camping In Marine Parks

E. General Marine Park Access / Allowed Uses

IX.

Heart Lake / Pass Lake Connection Sub-Area

A. General Issues

1. Property Acquisition / Surplus

a) The Heart Lake property should not be surplused to Anacortes unless strict conservation easements are in place. Anacortes city government recently moved forward on a plan to destroy 16 acres of the Anacortes Community Forest land.

2. Cooperation With Anacortes Community Forest Land Managers

a) Evergreen Island urges the park staff to coordinate the Anacortes Community Forest Lands managers to ensure that the Natural Forest Area trail use restrictions are enforced. While Natural Forest Areas prohibit trail use by horses, mountain bikes, and dirt bikes, the ACFL has plenty of other trails where they are allowed.

b) The old growth forest in this area should be classified as a Natural Area Preserve with condition use trails and interpretative signs.

3. Adjacent Land Uses

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. Protection of Heart Lake Water Quality

a) Evergreen Islands strongly supports prohibiting the use of power boats on Heart Lake. The hydroplane races should have been banned from this beautiful lake many years ago.

2. Protection of Wildlife Habitat

3. Protection of Heart Lake Fish Resources

4. Protection of Maryott/Cameron Property Cultural Landscape

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Maryott / Cameron Property Cultural Landscape

D. Recreational Resource Issues

1. Facilities Development

2. Trail Use, Development, Signing

3. Visitor Safety / Law Enforcement

X.

Dugualla Bay Sub-Area

A. General Issues

1. Park Name And Mission

2. Property Acquisition / Surplus

3. Relationship With Education Organizations

4. Interpretation / Environmental Education

B. Natural Resource Issues

1. General Vegetation Management

2. Protection Of Bog Ecosystem

C. Cultural Resource Issues

1. Protection Of Archaeological Resources

D. Recreational Resource Issues

1. Visitor Safety / Law Enforcement

2. Trail Use, Development, Signing

a) The existing roads within this park should be removed by allowing the native vegetation to reclaim them.

3. Development Of Recreational Facilities