CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2806 on Monday, October 26, 2009, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. H.R. 2806 was introduced on June 10, 2009, by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by voice vote on September 10, 2009.
H.R. 2806 would authorize the Secretary of Interior to redraw the boundaries of the Stephen Mather Wilderness in Washington to exclude a 100-foot corridor from inclusion in the wilderness. The area would be excluded so that a road damaged by flooding could be rebuilt above the flood plain without violating restrictions on land use under the wilderness designation.
The Stephen Mather Wilderness was designated in 1988 as part of the Washington Park Wilderness Act and makes for approximately 90 percent of the North Cascades National Park in Washington. According to House Report 111-293, major flooding damaged or washed out some portion of the Stehekin Valley Road in 1995, 2003, and 2006. If H.R. 2806 were enacted, an environmental impact study of the boundary change and the possible construction of the new road would be conducted. If the project was approved following the study, the National Park Service would be required to build a new road segment and repair damaged areas of the road.
According to CBO, H.R. 2806 would "cost $2.5 million over the next five years." Of that amount, $500,000 would be spent to conduct an environmental study and $2 million would be spent on road construction.