Increment 2a: Zigzag Road Decommissioning

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 appealed the original plan to help craft a better and more ambitious 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 de facto shooting range, as well as  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 concretely improve the crafting of road decommissioning processes. This has resulted in 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.

Thank you to everyone who submitted comments and let the Forest Service know they have to listen to the public and be ambitious with these projects.

More on Incremental Road Decommissioning: 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 along with recreation and conservation allies secured congressional restoration funds, which 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.

Project Status: 
Restoration
General Information
District: 
Zigzag Ranger District
Watershed: 

Salmon River Watershed