LACO prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) under 23 CFR Part 171 for this Federal Highways Administration funded project located in Klamath, Del Norte County, CA. The Federal Highway Administration was the Lead Agency for this project. The Scenic Byways Visitor’s Center project consists of a 2,500 square foot facility and associated infrastructure. The building design is fully ADA compliant, and includes the following elements:
- A welcome area
- Interpretation features
- A gift shop
- An on-site wastewater system
- Connection to the community water system and utilities
- Office space
- Access to and from u.s. highway 101
- A parking area
- Handicapped parking area
- Outdoor seating area
The Scenic Byways Visitors Center is part of a larger vision for the project site, the Cultural and Knowledge Park Project. Although the projects are located on the same property and are part of a larger vision, they have separate funding sources and are separate projects. The Cultural and Knowledge Park is funded under the Indian Community Development Block Grant while the Yurok Scenic Byways Visitors Center has obtained funding from the Federal Highway Administration. Therefore, the Tribe retained our services to prepare two separate EAs. The EA for the Cultural and Knowledge Park was conducted pursuant to 24 C.F.R. Part 58 and the Yurok Tribe was the Lead Agency.
The Park will include landscaped open spaces, an outdoor gathering circle (amphitheater), traditional Yurok redwood village and sweathouse, walking trails, salmon fire pit, canoe carving area, handicapped accessible restrooms, outdoor lighting, paved parking areas and access roadways. The cultural park will provide an outdoor public facility for Tribal families to recreate, conduct community wellness activities, such as cultural sweats, traditional stick games, salmon cookouts, family and Tribal gatherings, and provide for an interchange of Yurok culture and history to current and future generations.
The Yurok Visitor Center will be designed to incorporate green building practices with renewable energy resources, and will minimize the environmental footprint in keeping with traditional Yurok design and building practices. The facility will incorporate solar, wind, geothermal heating, and the use of sustainable materials. Energy efficiency will also be a key theme throughout the design, especially in the areas of HVAC, lighting, appliances, and weatherization. Landscaping will include the use of local native plants and will include interpretive signage indicating the native Yurok use of the plants.
In addition to both EAs, we are currently providing civil engineering, architecture, and geotechnical services for both projects.