Regional News

Reclamation seeks comments on draft environmental assessment for recreational use at “Geezer Beach”


May 08, 2019

The Bureau of Reclamation proposes making changes to the recreational use of a portion of the Lake Roosevelt shoreline, including the area locally known as Geezer Beach. The purpose is to address safety concerns related to driving or parking vehicles on the shoreline or the reservoir within the Reclamation Zone adjacent to Grand Coulee Dam.

Over time, Reclamation has observed cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles parked on the reservoir banks, which is Reclamation-owned land, during drawdown. Driving and parking on the drawdown area can present a public safety risk because vehicles can become stuck, roll into the reservoir, or are abandoned.

Additionally, vehicle traffic on the drawdown area is not permitted on the rest of the Lake Roosevelt shoreline, in the Recreation or Reservation zones managed by the National Park Service and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation or Spokane Tribe of Indians, respectively. Restricting vehicle traffic within the Reclamation-owned area would provide for the consistent management of the entire Lake Roosevelt shoreline.

In this draft EA, the proposed alternatives are as follows:

• Alternative A – No Action and current conditions associated with existing recreational uses in the Reclamation Zone and at Geezer Beach would continue.

• Alternative B – Reclamation would continue to allow fishing and other forms of recreation and allow public use of the boat ramp. Reclamation would restrict physical access to cars, trucks, all-terrain vehicles, and recreational vehicles in the Reclamation Zone to designated parking areas and would not allow driving or parking on the shoreline or drawdown. Concrete barriers, large boulders, or a combination of the two would be used to block access points and restrict traffic from entering onto the shoreline or drawdown area. Reclamation would install signage in areas that have been identified for designated parking.

• Alternative C – Reclamation would close the area within the Reclamation Zone, including the area known as Geezer Beach, to fishing and other forms of recreation. Concrete barriers, large boulders, or a combination of the two would be used to block access points and restrict traffic from entering onto the shoreline or drawdown area. Reclamation would install signage in areas that have been identified for designated parking. Additional signage would be installed along Marina Way noting the closure of the area to recreational use.

The draft EA is available at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/wash/geezerbeach/index.html.

Please send written comments to Lon Ottosen, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Power Office, PO Box 620, Grand Coulee, WA 99133, or by email at lottosen@usbr.gov. Comments must be received no later than May 20, 2019.

For a printed copy of the draft EA, please contact Lynne Brougher, Public Affairs Officer, at lbrougher@usbr.gov.

 


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