Juniper Dunes Public Access Road

Finding of No Significant Impact/
Final Environmental Assessment

The Western Federal Lands Division of the Federal Highway Administration, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and Franklin County, is planning to construct a public access to the Juniper Dunes Wilderness and off-highway vehicle areas. The project recently published a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and a Final Environmental Assessment (EA). Click on the links below to view the FONSI and EA:

Purpose

Provide a legal public access road to the Juniper Dunes Wilderness Area and adjacent off-highway vehicle (OHV) open area, starting at a public road and ending at a staging area adjacent to the Juniper Dunes OHV open area.

Needs

  • Users currently access the Wilderness and OHV area by a private road (Peterson Road) that does not have an access easement.
  • The owners of the road have closed Peterson Road in the past, cutting off access to the Wilderness and OHV area to the public.
  • Peterson Road is not constructed or maintained by the County, so it does not meet County standards for safety and maintenance, and has the following deficiencies:
    • Intersection with Pasco-Kahlotus Road (major rural collector) is at an acute angle which can cause an increase in crash frequency.
    • Inadequate safety clear zone on the roadway, which can cause an increase in property damage and injury accidents.
    • Substandard roadway drainage, which causes poor surface conditions.
    • Poor road surface conditions, such as washboards and potholes, which can cause an increased crash frequency and increase in vehicle damage.
    • Inadequate and inconsistent width, which can cause passing conflicts and increased crash frequency.
  • There has been damage to private property along Peterson Road from users of the road.
  • The most accessible parking area for the OHV area is outside of the OHV area and is near to private property. The location of the parking area outside of the OHV area leads to use of OHV in unauthorized areas. The proximity of the parking area to private land has caused impacts to private property.
  • The lack of legal access and poor road conditions make it difficult for law enforcement and emergency medical services to access the area. Currently, law enforcement patrols are very infrequent and emergency medical services are provided by helicopter.

Bureau of Land Management Purpose and Need

In addition to the purpose and needs described above, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has their own need with respect to the use of BLM managed lands by Franklin County.

BLM Purpose

To provide public access to meet the recreational demands in the Juniper Dunes Recreation Areas.

BLM Need

The BLM's need for the proposed action is to respond to a right-of-way application submitted by Franklin County under the authority of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. It also would implement the 1987 Spokane Resource Management Plan's action to acquire public assess rights to the Juniper Forest Management Area. Franklin County is applying to construct, operate and maintain a county road to the Juniper Dunes recreation area over lands administered by the BLM's Border Field office of the Spokane District.

Project Map

Project Map

Previous Project Meetings

Map showing general vicinity of project
View a larger interactive map of the project area.

Project Details
Project # WA Franklin 2013(1)
Project Name Juniper Dunes Public Access Road Project
Location Franklin County, WA
Status In Development

Contact Information

Keith Wong, Project Manager
(360) 619-7547
Email: keith.wong@dot.gov

Seth English-Young, Environmental Specialist
Phone: (360) 619-7803
Email: seth.english-young@dot.gov

Federal Highway Administration
Western Federal Lands Highway Division
610 East Fifth Street
Vancouver, WA 98661-3801