National Forest Service asking the public which roads should be saved
The National Forest Service will be holding local meetings to find out which of the approximately 2000 miles of Olympic National Forest roads will need to be closed. Currently, 1,400 miles of road are currently open to vehicles, but 600 miles of the roads are closed, but may be opened intermittently to provide access for resource management.
According to the Forest Service, “Most roads on the Forest were built between the 1950s and 1990s to support timber management. Needs for and uses of the road system have shifted dramatically; timber harvest on the Forest has declined while other uses such as recreation have increased. As timber-harvest declined over the past two decades, so too has funding for road maintenance.”
NFS says that the funding available to maintain these roads is not available, and the unmaintained of under-maintained roads are a safety hazard.
“The current road system cannot be maintained or sustained, so it is likely the future road system will include fewer open roads. Closing roads to motor vehicle use, but maintaining use as a trail may be an opportunity identified in Travel Analysis. However, funding for trail maintenance is continuing to decline too, so an opportunity to convert a road to a trail must consider sustainability of the trail system, too.”
Following the meetings, they will look over the data and by Fall 2015 will finalize their “travel analysis report” on the roads to see if more of them need to be closed.
- Wednesday June 25, 2014, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Quilcene, Washington, Quilcene School, Multi-purpose Room, 294715 U.S. Hwy 101
- Thursday July 17, 2014, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Port Townsend, Washington, Port Townsend Community Center, 620 Tyler St.
- Wednesday July 30, 2014, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Quinault, Washington, Olympic National Forest, Quinault Ranger Station, 363 South Shore Rd.
- Tuesday August 19, 2014, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Shelton, Washington, Shelton Civic Center, 525 Cota St.
- Thursday August 21, 2014, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Aberdeen, Washington, Rotary Log Pavillion, 1401 Sargent Blvd.
- Thursday August 27, 2014, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Olympia, Washington, Olympic National Forest, Supervisor’s Office, 1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW
Residents can provide input multiple ways.
1) Attend an Open House around the Olympic Peninsula and provide input on maps and questionnaires.
2) Provide comments on our Web-based Map until August 31, 2014.