The Forest Service has finalized its plan to decommission approximately 50 miles of unneeded and ecologically harmful roads in the Zigzag Ranger District and has implemented much of the decommissioning work. The Zigzag Ranger District is visited by scores of people every year because it provides access to spectacular hiking trails and campgrounds.
While Bark is hugely supportive of the Forest Service’s plans for road decommissioning, we filed an appeal to the original plan. We worked to incorporate the voices of community members, hikers, equestrians, and other recreationists into the final plan, and to reduce the influence of timber sale planning in a restoration-driven decision making process.
Our appeal was resolved in June of 2010, after the Forest Service proposed to decommission three additional roads that are especially harmful to the City of Sandy ‘s drinking watershed, and agreed to move a trailhead out of a dangerous quarry turned illegal shooting range, and restore the quarry to a more natural state. Of special significance, the Forest Service also agreed to recognize Bark as a key stakeholder and proceeded with a series of meetings where the agency agreed to improve restoration planning processes, guaranteed field days or open houses for every future road decommissioning project, better disclosure of future timber sale plans in the road decommissioning project areas, and improved descriptions of how the roads will actually be decommissioned.