Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > At Monte Cristo ghost town, a big fight over a short road
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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Jun 30, 2021 4:09 pm 
Kim Brown wrote:
It's easier to leave it as a trail. Regarding history; those structures aren't worth it. there aren't any left that warrant an entire road be built. They've never been cared for very well; mice-ridden and dirty; no one could go inside other than the hosts, and at that, only one building had a host. i dunno; maybe I'm crabby today? But I never was impressed with the structures as historical.

I agree that it should be left as a trail, since some are scared of crossing on the log or wading the river. I wish but I know it won't happen that they reinstall the section of the bridge that is now high and dry, but then as I mentioned the main channel is now running under the existing bridge and that could likely wash out.


I AM impressed with the remaining structures as being "historical" and was glad to see that some of the buildings have been improved and recently painted. The one by itself next the creek however needs help, the boards have been torn off and the interior is full of refuse. I am also impressed by the historical value of the scrap metal from days gone by lying around, to myself and others it is interesting.

What I don't get is that they went through the trouble to build this road and continue to use it, why did they not build it properly? With a bridge over the wetland area, etc.

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altasnob
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PostWed Jun 30, 2021 4:23 pm 
I assume because it was always intended to be a temporary road and would be decommissioned back to its natural landscape after the project was complete.

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Chief Joseph
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Jun 30, 2021 4:34 pm 
That makes sense, and given that it's a federal project, that could go on indefinitely.

In reality, how can it ever be finished since the contaminated tailings dump site will need to continually be monitored?

Would Federal workers actually walk in?   hockeygrin.gif

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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Jun 30, 2021 4:47 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
What I don't get is that they went through the trouble to build this road and continue to use it, why did they not build it properly? With a bridge over the wetland area, etc.

It wasn't much trouble to ram the thing in; no engineering, no surveys, no concerns with environmental or historical aspects. The fed just wanted to get in and get the work done, period. No need for an expensive bridge or any road engineering if you're a CERCLA project. what happens to the road afterward wasn't their concern.

However, they did work with MCPA, who worked very hard to preserve what was eventually preserved, and that is why several history aspects were saved, like the really neat rock shown in in old photos that was saved (but it was covered in weeds last time I was there, so you can't really see it now anyways.

If there's concern about history, and MCPA is fighting for that road to preserve history, they need to show that they want to preserve it. At the very least, pull the damn weeds. I love that they contoured the concentrator site, and they excavated below that site, as well. The old stove, the sign, the train thingy, etc. at the site - do they need maintenance using equipment that needs vehicle access? If so, then sure, let MCPA members use the road and pay for the upkeep as they did the other one. it may be cheaper to maintain.

Anyway. The public doesn't need a road back there. Just make it easier for dumbassery and ruin it for everyone else. (remember the public burned up the picnic shelter? Dumbasses).

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Randito
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Randito
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PostWed Jun 30, 2021 5:00 pm 
Kim Brown wrote:
but I don't see anything about wilderness preservation in this article

Well perhaps not "Wilderness" with a capital "W" , but "roadless area" designation"

[quote=]If made permanent, Fenner argued Monte Cristo’s CERCLA route could become a rare and dangerous exception to the roadless rule. If one exemption is allowed, he wondered, what other reasons might be used to justify permanent roads in roadless areas?[/quote]

Sounds a bit like a Khumra -- setting a boundary far back from the actual boundary,  so that when accidental incursions occur, they don't violate the real boundary.

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Schroder
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PostWed Jun 30, 2021 6:32 pm 
Kim Brown wrote:
They didn't have a choice. A CERCLA project trumps every law, rule, and regulation. The issue now is that  while motorized use was allowed in a Roadless Area because it was a CERCLA project, now, other than monitoring, it no longer is a CERCLA project. So....it's still Roadless. Should the public be allowed to drive on it?

My argument is that it was never a Roadless Area under any previous definition. It suddenly became an argument by Bill Lider at the beginning of this project. If it had been under the Roadless Area inventory in 1984 in would have been included in Henry M Jackson Wilderness.

You were at the public hearings for this as was I. The landholders in Monte Cristo were told they would have use of this road.

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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostWed Jun 30, 2021 10:33 pm 
Roadless designation was discussed from the beginning, before Lider got involved. But not at great length, as laws and regs aren't an issue as far as the CERCLA project was concerned.

I don't recall  inholders being promised  use of the road in perpetuity. The USFS couldn't promise that because of the Roadless status ( several still exist) and changing it will require public input.

If I am wrong, and they did promise, it was 1) wrong, without public input, and 2) before they knew what a shoddy, insufficient road would be built.  Even if the road is retained for inholders only, my guess is it would have to be rebuilt to standard and/or rerouted at least  in part. Not sure how that would look on paper. Would there be an easement, etc. And are there enough inholders left to foot the bill?. And yet public funds would mean full public access, and the USFS building a new road ... Would it happen? If it becomes USFS inventory (are easements inventory?), it would definitely need a rebuild and reroute, and  like mileage would have to close in the same watershed (bear habitat), which shouldn't be a problem since so many are closing anyway.

My guess is that this will drag on until there are no inholders left or the road deteriorates to the point of no return, whichever happens first. Then it will become a foot trail, official or not. I bet that wouldn't be the first time that tactic was employed. suuure.gif

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Schroder
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PostThu Jul 01, 2021 11:34 am 
Again, it's not a Roadless Area and the Forest Service didn't have to argue that fact since, as you said, CERCLA over-rides all other rules. It's the North Cascades Conservation Council that's pushing that argument.

There were public hearings on the road and everyone had their input.

The road is not going away, in spite of NCCC and Bill Lider's objections because it's needed for monitoring. The question is who is allowed to travel on it and with what.

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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Jul 01, 2021 11:43 am 
Schroder wrote:
The road is not going away, in spite of NCCC and Bill Lider's objections because it's needed for monitoring. The question is who is allowed to travel on it and with what.

True; they can't argue that away; it's a CERCLA project.

The argument is what to do about the road after monitoring (10 years).

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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puzzlr
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puzzlr
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PostSun Jul 04, 2021 4:19 pm 
Thanks for the civil back and forth on this - I'm learning a lot. I'd just "Like" the posts, but then you wouldn't know why I like it.

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trestle
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PostMon Jul 05, 2021 11:49 am 
Is there any precedence to draw from based on the history of the Middle Fork and the Dutch Miller-area mines?

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Randito
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Randito
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PostMon Jul 05, 2021 12:32 pm 
trestle wrote:
Is there any precedence to draw from based on the history of the Middle Fork and the Dutch Miller-area mines?

IDK -- seems like an Apples to Steel Reinforced Concrete comparision.     In that the Dutch Miller mines are surrounted by a Wilderness Area and there was never a road or a town servicing the mines and Monte Cristo was a boom town with a road servicing it and the area in question is neither a wilderness area nor a roadless area.

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trestle
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PostMon Jul 05, 2021 1:15 pm 
Randito wrote:
seems like an Apples to Steel Reinforced Concrete comparision

lol.gif  up.gif

Both had mines before anything from the Forest Service. And while MC may not be Wilderness or Roadless by declaration, certain advocates are clearly treating it that way or at least putting such language into public meetings. Current events clearly show this to be an effective tool when it comes to swaying the uninformed in the public square. Anyways, precedence is never a bad question to ask.

While MC may not be smack dab in the middle of a Wilderness as Dutch Miller is, it is certainly surrounded by Wilderness areas.

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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jul 06, 2021 11:36 am 
Thanks for the link to NC3’s publication puzzlr (I just saw that). It won’t download for me, but I’ll do that from a different computer later.

I think there's confusion in this discussion about wilderness and Wilderness and environmental protection.

I don’t see Wilderness designation as a concern in the original article. It’s not mentioned at all.

Is Wilderness designation mentioned in the NC3 article?

Those concerned about fish and birds can have concerns regardless of Wilderness or Roadless designation. Fish and bird habitat are considered even downtown Seattle, and the ferry routes across Elliot Bay.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jul 06, 2021 12:35 pm 
And another thing!

I got to thinking about Randy's points on the road not being in a Roadless Area, so after a million different searches, I found a detailed map of the Glacier Peak Roadless Area (See Plate 1).

The CERCLA road may indeed be 99.9% (or more) out of the Glacier Peak Roadless Area, and it is likely a tiny portion does go within the Roadless Area, that portion being where the boundary reaches the river. I do recall in the beginning of the project, the USFS  being concerned the road was in the Roadless Area. Then the road building took off, and was out of the USFS hands.


I also found a 2018 letter written by several local organizations urging MBS to remove the road after the CERCLA project is completed and objecting to the use of the road by local "innholders"  hmmm.gif . They base their objection on the road being within the Roadless Area.

The small amount of road within the Roadless Area (if it is) isn't bothersome (to me, at least). It couldn't be helped. Though minute, it's probably enough that anyone fighting it has a legitimate argument. (does the boundary stay on the map if the river migrates across it?)

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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