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Forest Service grants funds to improve Humptulips access

An advisory group has issued $67,314 in grants for projects in the National Forest in Grays Harbor County, including improving access to the West Fork of the Humptulips River.

On May 29, the Olympic Peninsula Resource Advisory Committee met in Olympia to review the projects.

The grants come from timber money allocated by the federal government to cover impacts national forests have on their communities.

Grays Harbor County’s allocation covered $10,000 for invasive plant prevention and control, $25,614 for deferred road maintenance, $19,700 to cover costs for the Washington Conservation Corps to do work in the county and $12,000 for Humptulips River access.

Hoquiam resident Al Carter was a member of the committee, representing Grays Harbor County. It’s a position he’s held since he was a county commissioner. Carter says that the river access was a big priority for him since it’s the last part of an access project, which had included restoration and bridge projects across the river. The $12,000 will be used to put a gravel parking lot at the river.

“That was the final piece of the project for that river access,” Carter said.

If any of the projects come in under budget, the leftover funds will be used to help improve roads across the forestland.

Besides the Grays Harbor Projects, $126,891 was allocated for Clallam County, including improvements to the viewpoint at Kloshe Nanitch, where a historic fire lookout stand had been located until it was removed in 2012.

“On a clear day, stunning views of the Sol Duc Watershed from its headwaters around Mt. Olympus as it snakes through the Sol Duc Valley to where it flows into the Pacific Ocean at LaPush,” the Forest Service website states.

Jefferson County had $118,008 in projects, including funds for a ranger corps at Quilcene; and Mason County had $52,977 in projects.