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Glacier Seeks Comment on Plan to Lease Historic Buildings on Lake McDonald

Park Service accepting comments on environmental assessment through March 1

Glacier National Park is considering a plan to lease some historic cabins on Lake McDonald in an effort to preserve the structures.

The National Park Service announced this week that the Lake McDonald Properties Management Plan Draft Environmental Assessment was available for review and that public comment on the proposal would be accepted through March 1.

Seven properties with a total of 24 buildings are included in the plan. Among them are Kelly’s Camp and the Wheeler Cabin, both located on the north end of Lake McDonald. The proposal notes that the Park Service has come to own a number of formally private properties on the lake in recent years, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Due to limited funds for historic preservation and the number of historic properties now under park administration, it is likely that the structures will deteriorate at a rate that exceeds the park’s ability to maintain them,” officials write. “Without maintenance, some of the buildings would likely need to be removed.”

The draft environmental assessment lists two alternatives: leaving the structures as they are or the preferred alternative of coming up with a long-term management plan for each individual property. The preferred plan calls for leasing the structures to park partners who will help fund the maintenance of each building. Any organization or individual that were to lease a building would have to maintain the structure’s historic integrity and its placement on the national register.

The EA is available through the park’s planning website. Comments can be made directly through this website, or written to:  Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn:  Lake McDonald Properties Management Plan EA, PO Box 128 West Glacier, Montana 59936.

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