OREGON - Willamette National Forest Seeks Input on Long Term Road Management Strategies
Dear BRC Action Alert Subscribers,
The Willamette National Forest is working on a road investment strategy to help guide future road management decisions, addressing the twin challenges of an aging road system and a limited maintenance budget. In addition, Forest Service roads are important for almost every activity on National Forests.
The Forest Service will be hosting two public meetings about Long Term Road Management Strategies. Residents of Sweet Home and the North Santiam Canyon are invited to share their thoughts on forest road management at the upcoming meetings.
Tuesday, September 23, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at Sweet Home Ranger District, 3225 Highway 20, Sweet Home, OR
Wednesday, September 24, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the Gates Fire House, 140 E. Sorbin St., Gates, OR
Both meetings will start with a presentation about roads management on the Willamette National Forest and a chance for questions and answers. After the presentation, there will be maps on tables, and visitors will be encouraged to draw on the maps to show areas or roads that are important to them.
BRC recommends that motorized recreationists submit the following road recreation strategies at the meetings and in subsequent planning efforts:
ML 3 Roads to Trails - Reclassify ML3 roads to ML2 roads. Reclassify ML2 road to motorized trails or manage appropriate ML2 roads as "roads managed as trails." Manage appropriate ML1 roads as "motorized trail."
ML 2 Roads to Trails - Convert "roads-to-single track trails" or "roads-to-motorized trails less than 50 inches in width" and "roads managed as motorized trails greater than 50 inches in width" as a tool to help it achieve its budget objectives while still providing a substantive and high quality recreational route network.
Wet Weather Closures - Any TMR-based wet weather closure strategy should allow for native surfaced trails and roads to be open when soil conditions/lack-of-rainfall permits. If a wet weather closure is needed, the implementing Forest Order should be for the shortest period of time rather than a longer time period. In NEPA, it is always easier to extend a short closure versus repealing a longer closure.
If you're not able to attend the meeting, you can still tell them why roads are important to you and what areas you value. The Forest Service recently unveiled a new, innovative interactive mapping tool that lets you draw right on the digital map, commenting about why you value an area. Anyone with an internet connection can use the mapping tool, available at http://go.usa.gov/KqGH.
The mapping tool is easy to use, giving users options about what kinds of data (or layers) they'd like displayed on the map, including roads, trails, recreation sites, and wilderness areas. The map also shows other people's comments (without names), allowing the chance for dialogue about these areas.
For more information about the Willamette National Forest's road investment planning, visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/willamette/roads. For more information about the meeting, contact the Detroit Ranger District at 503-854-3366 or the Sweet Home Ranger District at 541-367-5168.
The Willamette National Forest will be hosting similar open houses and presentations over the next few months, including meetings in McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge/Westfir, and in Eugene/Springfield.
Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Public Lands Department Manager
208-237-1008 ext 107
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