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Local spot in four-state national trail subject of talk


A detail of a map of the Ice Age Floods, prepared in part for the state Department of Natural Resources, shows the scale of the project in four states.

The most dramatic feature of a proposed four-state trail is centered locally, and residents can learn all about it next Monday afternoon.

People can learn how this region will play a small but significant role in the development of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail at a National Park Service information meeting Monday, Jan. 23, from 1-3 p.m. in the community room at Coulee Dam Town Hall.

Denise Bausch, of the National Park Service, will make a 45-minute presentation showing the proposed trail extending from Glacial Lake Missoula to the mouth of the Columbia River and south of Portland through the Willamette Valley.

The trail would extend essentially along highways and public land.

The Grand Coulee Dam area, through its canyon land to Dry Falls, is a vital part of the overall trail that extends through parts of four states: Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

The trail will emphasize the floods that repeated several times to create the massive wash through what is now known as the Channeled Scablands.

Lake Missoula, as the story goes, held some 500 square miles of water that repeatedly washed through the four-state area creating the canyon between here and Coulee City and washed rock and soil away, creating the Dry Falls area.

In addition to the Grand Coulee, the floods formed Moses Coulee, the Channeled Scablands, Dry Falls, Palouse Falls and many similar features in Eastern Washington.

The National Park Service, along with some 70 agencies and groups, completed a study in 2001 about the Ice Age Floods that occurred some 13,000 to 15,000 years ago. Since that study, Congress and President Obama have made the trail a reality. No funding has yet been designated for the trail concept.

Monday's presentations will include short comments from officials in Electric City, the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, the chamber of commerce's Economic Development Council, and two town councilmembers from Coulee Dam.

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