This proposal would have closed roads in the Oak Grove Watershed, but is currently on hold along with other roads decommissioning efforts from early Increments that have yet to be completed.
Bark has a long advocated for Mt. Hood National Forest to reduce the size of its enormous system of roads, mostly remnants from the heyday of logging, which cause significant impacts to fish, wildlife, and water quality. Public pressure from Bark and recreation and conservation allies contributed to the creation of the incremental road decommissioning process (deconstructing roads to remove them from the landscape) under former Forest Supervisor Gary Larson in 2008. The agency embarked on this restoration by analyzing sub-watersheds throughout the forest to identify and decommission unneeded, problematic roads within these areas.
With Increment 1 and Increments 2a and 2b, the agency finished NEPA analysis for 334 miles of roads throughout three sub-watersheds, and has completed on the ground work to decommission some of the roads identified for restoration.
Unfortunately, the incremental decommissioning process was put on hold in winter of 2013 by former Forest Supervisor Chris Worth, which stalled analysis for Increments 3 and 4, as well as implementation of all increments. Work may resume soon on Increment 3, and Bark hopes to work with the Forest Service to see this work completed, and encourage future road decommissioning and where appropriate converting roads to trails to provide new recreation opportunities.