Suiattle River Road 26
Record rainfall in October, 2003, produced some of the most severe storm damage seen on Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in decades. During a 24-hour period, more than six inches of rain fell in the forest lowlands and up to 10 inches in the higher elevation areas. Many roads, trails, recreation sites and watersheds were damaged, primarily in eastern Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom Counties. The Suiattle Road 26 sustained particularly heavy damage.
In fall 2006, storms caused additional damage to Suiattle Road 26 on new sites as well as some of the same sites damaged in 2003. The Forest Service and the Federal Highway Administration have been working to restore vehicle access on Suiattle Road 26.
The Suiattle Road 26 is a major travel corridor to the Glacier Peak Wilderness and the Pacific Crest Trail, as well as a multitude of popular trails. Commercial outfitter guides use Suiattle Road 26 to provide rafting adventures and the public need it to load their boats, rafts and kayaks onto the Suiattle River. Road 26 provides driving for pleasure and scenery and allows people to access areas to hunt wild mushrooms, pick wild berries and gather other forest products. Tribal members use the road to reach areas and resources important for traditional cultural practices and exercise reserved Treaty rights.
The Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has developed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) to document the FHWA decision on the Suiattle River Road project in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Amended Environmental Assessment and FONSI can be viewed or obtained online.