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The rain is falling hard and our forest roads are washing away! Erosion has created some cool landscapes (think Grand Canyon), but when old Mt. Hood logging roads erode into our streams and rivers, the results aren't pretty — for fish or people! Mud washed into streams can smother salmon eggs that were recently laid in the stream gravels. What if the road leading to your favorite trail morphs into a muddy “Grand canyon?”
There’s a good chance the Forest Service won’t have the money to repair it. This year only had enough money to maintain 15.8% of the roads in Mt. Hood National Forest. That doesn’t make sense to us, because recreation contributes $50 million annually to communities around the mountain.
Two down - two to go
The Forest Service held their beginning round of Open Houses last week — the first in Hood River, and the second in Barlow — to receive public feedback regarding the road system on the Eastside of Mt. Hood. These open house events mark the kickoff for Mt. Hood's Travel Analysis Process (TAP), a nationwide effort to remove unnecessary and ecologically harmful roads from our National Forests.
Alongside local residents, Bark volunteers and staff attended both events, where we unveiled our own proposal to convert some of those old unneeded logging roads into fresh trails for recreation.
Though it's early days yet, the recreation staff and District Ranger showed genuine interest in our recommendation. If you, too, would like to see more trails and less logging on Mt. Hood, it's not too late—there's two more open houses coming right up! (See below for details.)
The Salmon, Sandy, and Clackamas Rivers need your voice next week
Remember the Jazz Timber Sale? That big, bad timber sale you and other Barkers worked to stop? The one where the agency wants to rebuild roads in the most geologically unstable area on Mt. Hood, right next to the Collawash River — a waterway that remains vital to the survival of Oregon's threatened salmon?
Well, on Wednesday, November 5th, You can tell the agency to focus your tax dollars on maintaining roads for people not log trucks. This is your chance to talk directly with recreation staff about which roads and trails are important to you.
Clackamas River Ranger Station Open House
When: Nov. 5th, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Where: 595 NW Industrial Way, Estacada, OR
Can’t make it on Wednesday? Then come to Zigzag with us on Thursday, Nov. 6th!
Zigzag Ranger Station Open House
When: Nov. 6th, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Where: 70220 E. Highway 26, Zigzag, OR
Driving? Need a ride?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for carpool information.
Thanks, and see you at the open house!
Russ Plaeger, Program Director
P.S. The Forest Service is collecting public input on its massive road system in Mt. Hood. If you’ve driven poorly maintained roads on your way to recreation areas anywhere in Mt. Hood National Forest, please take ten seconds to sign up here. We need your help.