Some better things coming from the Blues (Mtns.)

Since I criticized the FS there in a couple of previous posts, here’s a couple of things I think they’ve done right.

It’s important that the public understand the relationship between forest planning and travel management planning, and this explanation from the Wallowa-Whitman is reasonably clear.  I think it should work about as well as it can if the Subpart A (roads analysis) precedes forest plan revision, and Subpart B (designation of roads open to motorized vehicles) follows it.

A little further back, I faulted the FS for not being honest about the legality of the local ordinance that sought to regulate the federal government.  That came up again at this Malheur meeting, and the FS set the record straight: “Our attorneys do not believe the Grant County ordinance is legal,” Beverlin said.

3 Comments

  1. I guess depending on your view point there are some things the Forest Service does right.
    I do think they are working hard with the interested parties to form some sort of consensus and avoid litigation.
    Two things they do well, but that I do not agree with, is let fires burn and decommission roads.
    They are always saying they have no money to maintain their current road systems but they spend millions every year tearing them out. I have seen many a road that is in good condition that has been decommissioned by the Forest Service. I am assuming this money comes from accounts having something to do with restoration.
    I just see it as way for those parties within the Forest Service and BLM that don’t like forest management, fire suppression, or roads, to turn these areas into “wilderness “, no matter what these parts of the forest has been previously designated as. And they don’t even have to wait for new plans, Congress or public input.

    • Road decommissioning: “And they don’t even have to wait for new plans, Congress or public input.”

      Road decommissioning projects do have to be consistent with the existing forest plan, which did go through a public process. And that is important to keep in mind as plans are revised. Travel planning (to legally close roads) and physically closing roads both require an appropriate NEPA process as well.

  2. I have watch the Middle Fork of the Willamette, Oregon, close over 20 miles of mainline this year, at the cost of hundred of thousands of dollars, in areas that were suppose to be managed for timber harvesting. They did this after fires, because I think, “they” wanted to make sure no timber was salvaged and there is a mind set within the Forest Service that thinks roads are bad. These roads were in good shape. The culverts were removed and the roadbeds destroyed.
    Any future management or fire fighting in these areas will be seriously impaired.
    I think, but do not know, that these roads were destroyed with money that is available for forest restoration after fires.

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