Washington Wild is working hard to help support a sustainable road system on our national forests that both
prioritizes maintenance of important access roads while addressing aquatic and terrestrial impacts to water quality, wildlife and the broader watershed.
THE PROBLEM: There are nearly 370,000 miles of Forest Service roads crisscrossing our national forests, including 22,000 miles here in Washington State–many of them left over from the peak timber harvests of decades past. That amounts to almost eight times the U.S. federal highway system. This creates many challenges for the Forest Service to manage such an oversized, under budgeted and under-maintained road system.
Today, the road network continues to support forest management activities in addition to growing recreational usage. Unfortunately, road budgets are unable to completely support this increase in demand as funding levels are now only 18 percent of what they were back in 1990.
THE SOLUTION: The Forest Service itself has worked on addressing the issue by requiring each national forest to create a sustainable road system plan by 2015 that is based on both need and budget. Some of the national forest plans are still under development at this time, but they are continuing to move forward.
Washington Wild has taken a leadership role in mobilizing support from conservation and recreation groups to both prioritize maintenance for roads providing important access while at the same time identifying impassable roads for decommissioning. We have coordinated several joint comment letters to road maintenance project proposals by the Forest Service in support of a sustainable road system. See the updates below to find different comment letters and other updates in support of a Sustainable Road System.
Today, Washington Wild coordinated a joint comment letter signed by over two dozen recreation and conservation groups, and local businesses to the Forest Service supporting key road repairs in Sky Valley. The Forest Service is in the process of instituting a road repair project on the Skykomish Ranger District that would restore access to key recreation […]
The Forest Service is in the process of instituting a road repair project on the Skykomish Ranger District that would restore access to key recreation opportunities and they’re seeking YOUR input!
The Forest Service is in the process of instituting a road repair project on the Darrington Ranger District that would restore access to key recreation opportunities. Washington Wild coordinated a letter to the Forest Service signed by 13 organizations supporting these repairs that keep important recreation areas accessible. During Washington’s winters many Forest Service Roads suffer damage […]