USFS Road Maintenance Partnerships?

Folks, I’m looking into USFS partnerships with states, counties, NGOs, etc. For now, I’m focusing on roads. For example, Gila County, Arizona, maintains ~500 miles of roads, mostly unpaved, on the Tonto NF. Are you aware of any other road-maintenance partnerships? Reply here or to me directly at SWilent@gmail.com. — Steve Wilent

6 thoughts on “USFS Road Maintenance Partnerships?”

  1. I don’t, but Patrick McKay mentioned this in his post..in which a county obtained easements and reopened roads, so maybe they are doing maintenance?

    “That process ended in the Forest Service agreeing to reopen them in principle but attempting to turn over management responsibility to the affected counties. Teller County obtained easements and reopened its portion of the roads to the public by 2009. After two of its easement applications were lost by the Forest Service, Park County abandoned the effort to reopen its half of the Gulches trail system and those roads remain closed and in limbo. It will be up to the Forest Service to decide their final status in this process, with motorized users calling for them to be reopened and environmental groups demanding they be permanently closed in order to avoid environmental impacts to the Platte River.”

    Reply
    • That would be the Teller County portions of the 4WD roads in Wildcat Canyon (north of Lake George and west of Woodland Park), also called the Gulches. These include FR 220 Hackett Gulch, FR 221 Longwater Gulch, FR 205 Metberry Gulch, FR 897 Sportsman, FR 895 Predator, and FR 202 Old Stage. The 2004 Hayman Roads travel plan allowed those roads to be reopened after the Hayman Fire only if an easement was obtained by the affected counties and the counties agreed to handle all maintenance on them. Teller County got easements but Park County did not for a variety of reasons. That created a jurisdictional mess with the roads remaining arbitrarily closed at the Park County line with no barriers or signs and tons of people continuing to drive them illegally because most people don’t know they’re closed.

      So yeah, the idea of counties taking over maintenance of Forest Service roads is great in theory (and some documents I’ve found suggest Teller County would have claimed RS 2477 status on those roads anyway), but it can be a real mess when the roads cross county lines and only one of the counties is willing to enter into a maintenance agreement.

      Reply
  2. Schedule “A” agreements for road maintenance with the Counties are fairly common. In Colorado, a portion of the raid use/fuel tax was used to pay for maintenance performed by the county’s; don’t know if it still is valid. Colorado was the only state I know of that did this.

    Reply
    • Jim, thanks. Using Schedule “A” in my Googling helped. Here’s one recent item:

      https://www.tetoncountywy.gov/documentcenter/view/11965

      Subject: Consideration of USFS/Teton County Cooperative Forest Road Agreement/Schedule “A”

      Statement / Purpose: To consider the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Caribou-Targhee National Forest and Teton County Cooperative Forest Road Agreement/Schedule “A”.

      Background / Description (Pros & Cons):

      The Cooperative Forest Road Agreement/Schedule “A” is an agreement utilized by USFS to foster partnerships between USFS and local governments for maintenance of roads that access subdivisions and provide forest access to public lands. The attached proposed Caribou- Targhee National Forest/Teton County Schedule “A” lists agency responsibility for each applicable road. A Cooperative Forest Agreement/Schedule “A” was signed between Teton County and Caribou-Targhee National Forest on January 19, 2016 for South Leigh Canyon Road, from the Wyoming/Idaho State line, east to the forest boundary. The agreement expires on October 31, 2019. South Leigh Canyon Road is a rural County road (not adopted as a County road) that services Forest Edge, Alta Ridge and Beard subdivisions, and provides access to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, approximately 1.3 miles in length.

      Review of records available at the Teton County Road & Levee and Clerk’s offices indicate several cooperative agreements between Teton County and Caribou-Targhee National Forest have been implemented since 1968 for South Leigh Canyon Road maintenance and snow removal.

      Discussions with Caribou-Targhee National Forest personnel indicate USFS funding for road maintenance has significantly decreased over the years. Caribou-Targhee National Forest requests continuing the partnership with Teton County for South Leigh Canyon Road winter maintenance and add other maintenance items for roads within Teton County/Caribou-Targhee National Forest, that service both subdivisions and forest access. Additional maintenance items include spring grading for South Leigh Canyon Road, Teton Canyon Road, and Rapid Creek Road. Road lengths are summarized in the attached Schedule “A”.

      Reply
  3. County and state road mtce on NF’s is common, and wide-spread. Been that way for decades; usually assoc with concentrations of pvt land.

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