Bark's Recommendations for Mt. Hood National Forest's Travel Analysis Process

 

Below are responses to the Mt. Hood National Forest's Travel Analysis Process Feedback Form located at:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3818948.pdf

Question #1: What do you like to do when you visit Mount Hood National Forest? What roads are a priority for you or are most important  for accessing your favorite area or activity?

Bark supporters use the public  land  forests  surrounding  Mt.  Hood for a wide range of uses including, but not limited  to: clean drinking water, hiking, nature study, non-timber forest product collection, spiritual renewal, and quiet recreation.  Site specific road comments are included in our response to Question #2.

Question #2: Are there particular road segments that provide unique opportunities?

The attachments below include Bark's recommendations for the Barlow, Clackamas, Hood River and Zigzag Ranger Districts.

Also attached below are six maps which illustrate Bark's preferred future road system (with potential road removals) for each area mapped.  Each area mapped includes roads that would remain (black) and roads that we recommend for removal (red).  Some of these areas are mentioned in our recommendations, and some only appear in map form.  Removing these roads will reduce their impacts on clean water, salmon, wildlife and other values of the forest. Although some roads identified for removal have already been decommissioned, many of these may someday be considered by the Forest Service for reopening, at least temporarily. These maps reflect what we feel is a “right-sized” open road network.  All data displayed on these maps was retrieved from the Mount Hood National Forests's website:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mthood/landmanagement/gis

Question #3: If you had to hike into some areas where you formerly drove or needed a 4-wheel drive vehicle to access some remote areas where you didn't previously, how would that affect your experience?

Converting roads to trails and moving the trailhead further from the wilderness usually results in less litter and illegal activities that devalue our experience in the forest, and result in less human impact on wildlife and clean water, and more solitude, which Bark’s supporters value. 

Please keep us up to date as to where these roads might be so we can publicly comment.

Question #4: Is there anything else you'd like to share?

  • Bark supports clean water, healthy fish populations, and roadless areas that help wildlife and sequester carbon, helping our planet. That is why we support removing roads and rightsizing Mt. Hood National Forest’s road system. It is also the fiscally-responsible thing to do, as we understand that the Forest Service can only afford to maintain about 16% of the road system.
  • Prioritize road removals in watersheds with the highest road densities in all four ranger districts; these will offer the greatest opportunities for watershed restoration projects.  This is especially important in any subwatershed with road densities over 2 road miles per square mile.
  • Reduce road density at the 5th field watershed scale Forest-wide to less than 1.5 miles of road per square mile of land. All system roads, non-system roads and decommissioned roads (with road prism intact) shall be counted toward this road density standard.
  • Prohibit construction of new permanent and “temporary” roads, and do not rebuild previously decommissioned roads.
  • Allow no net increase in road density in any watershed.

Please call (503)331-0374 or email michael@bark-out.org if you have any questions.