FRLT Seeking EDA Funding for Olsen Barn Meadow Preserve
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) is considering a request for Federal assistance from Feather River Land Trust (FRLT) to improve visitor amenities at the Olsen Barn Meadow Preserve to create a first-class tourism destination in Chester, CA, Plumas County. Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), EDA is conducting an assessment of the potential of the proposed project to affect the environment and/or historic properties.
The purpose of the project at Olsen Barn Meadow Preserve is to create a first-class, year-round tourism destination that will have positive economic benefits for the community of Chester, and all of Plumas County, for years to come. The project will create an attractive destination for new and returning visitors to the region, that will stay in local lodging, eat at local restaurants, and spend money on other retail services.
The following projects will be completed to upgrade the present destination to draw more visitors:
Design and plan visitor amenities. A professional consultant will be contracted to work with the land trust and members of the community to develop an overall design plan that will include content and placement of signage and type and placement of other visitor amenities.
Develop interpretive information for numerous locations on the property. Attractive signs will be designed and installed that interpret the property’s history, cultural significance, ecological significance, and other physical features.
Improve property accessibility for people with physical disabilities. This will include the creation of an ADA-compliant parking pad, picnic area, property overlook, bench, restroom facility, and paved pathway that connects these features.
Improve access to the barn, walking areas, seating, and picnic areas, and install a vault toilet. The existing trail to the barn will be improved to create a more uniform walking surface, and new crushed rock will be laid around the barn to make the surface more even and walkable. The path will also serve as the service road to the barn and will be approximately 8’ in width and 1,200’ in length. Three additional benches and two picnic tables will also be installed on the property, in addition to two steel trash cans. An ADA-compliant vault toilet will also be constructed on the northeast portion of the existing parking area, located near a grove of cottonwood trees to reduce the visual impact on the property. FRLT will also install a durable receptacle that will accept donations from visitors. Funds collected from this will be used to cover costs associated with maintaining the property.
Restore the historic barn: Shortly after purchasing the property in 2015, FRLT hired a historical architect to assist with the development of a rehabilitation plan for the barn. Since then, FRLT has raised funds and hired contractors to replace the foundation of the barn and make repairs to the roofing and the roof structure. The next steps include the replacement of several structural members and the removal and replacement of siding that has been damaged by exposure to the elements. In addition to ensuring that this historic structure remains for decades to come, the proposed work will help FRLT to ensure that the barn is not vandalized by visitors. Removal and replacement of the siding will be accompanied by the replacement of five doors that are not currently on the barn. The doors will be constructed in a way that is consistent with the original design based on historic photos that are in the archives at the Chester Museum. The structural work includes the replacement of 35 feet of 12”x12” sill, the replacement of an 8”x8” diagonal brace, and the removal and replacement of two post bases that are 10”x10”. The siding on the south side of the barn all must be replaced. Additional barn siding will be replaced as needed and all efforts will be made to retain as much of the original siding as possible.
Register the barn on the National Register of Historic Places: FRLT will solicit bids from Architectural Historians/Historic Preservation Specialists to work through the process of applying to get the Olsen Barn on the National Register of Historic Places. FRLT has researched the National Register and is confident that if we succeed in getting the Olsen Barn on the Register, it will help to bring more visitors to the Lake Almanor/Chester area.
The Olsen Barn Meadow Preserve is in Plumas County, directly adjacent to the east of the town of Chester, along California State Route 36. The specific location of the property can be found via this Google Map link.
Project information is available for review at Feather River Land Trust, 75 Court Street, Quincy, CA 95971, or by contacting Corey Pargee at [email protected].
If you have any information regarding potential impacts on environmental resources or historic resources associated with this proposed project, please provide it in writing to:
EDA Regional Environmental Officer
Subject Line: Project Title
[email protected] or call 206-833-6035
Comments must be received by the EDA Regional Environmental Officer by 5:00 pm PST on June 14, 2022. A copy of the NEPA/NHPA decisional document will be available upon request by the above EDA Regional Environmental Officer.