News Release

National Park Service Seeks Public Comment on Nisqually River Levee Retrofit at Mount Rainier National Park

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Date: June 18, 2018
Contact: Kevin Skerl or Karen Thompson, 360-569-6510

ASHFORD, Wash. - The National Park Service is seeking public comments regarding a proposed project by Pierce County to retrofit the upper Nisqually River levee in Mount Rainier National Park with deflectors. The 21-day comment period closes on July 9, 2018

Currently Pierce County has a right-of-way with the National Park Service that grants permission to the county for the construction, operation and maintenance of the upper Nisqually River revetment, also referred to as the levee. The purpose of the proposed deflector project is to reduce erosion and reoccurring levee damage by reducing adjacent water velocity and shifting the main channel away from the levee and toward the center of the floodplain. The county proposes to add large wood to at least half of the deflectors, which would increase roughness and add habitat complexity to the existing levee face. The project is expected to reduce long-term maintenance costs of the nearly one-mile long flood control levee.

The proposed work would occur during the summer of 2019.

Pierce County originally constructed the levee in 1961 between river mile (RM) 64.5 upstream to RM 65.4. About one half of the levee is located within the park. The levee protects the historic Nisqually Entrance and the Nisqually to Paradise Road within the park, and the residential community and businesses located immediately west of the park boundary.

The levee was heavily damaged during the November 2006 flood event, which closed the Nisqually to Paradise Road and destroyed the Sunshine Point Campground. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Pierce County have repaired the levee four times since 2006.

If you wish to comment on this proposal, you may post comments online using the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: by selecting Document List from the left navigation bar. You can also mail comments to: 

Mount Rainier National Park
55210 238th Avenue East
Ashford, Washington 98304

The National Park Service appreciates the public taking time to share their comments, ideas and concerns, and contributing to the Mount Rainier National Park planning process. If you have questions about the project contact Kevin Skerl or Karen Thompson at 360-569-6510.



Last updated: June 18, 2018

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