Increment 2 Collawash Road Decommissioning

The Forest Service has issued its decision to decommission 170 miles of unnecessary roads in the Collawash Watershed, in the Clackamas River Ranger District. This project is designed to decommission 39% of roads in the watershed. The original proposed action by the Forest Service would have decommissioned 255 miles, or 58%, of the roads in this watershed in recognition of the severe impacts these roads are having on aquatic habitat and in line with the agency's 1999 Access and Travel Management Plan that identified 49% of Mt. Hood National Forest's road network as unneeded.

While this project will improve fish and wildlife habitat as well as drinking water quality, we are disappointed that the Forest Service has significantly scaled back the restoration work as initially proposed, especially in the Collawash Watershed that has experienced decades of intensive logging and road building.

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, including this proposed action in the Collawash Watershed.

Project Status: 
Restoration
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Watershed: 

Collawash River Watershed

Road Comments: 

The Final Decision calls for closing 170 miles of unneeded roads in the watershed, falling short of the original proposed action to decommission 255 miles of road.

Damage to road in Mt. Hood National ForestThe greatest threat to watershed health in Mt. Hood National Forest is the 4,000 mile network of roads on the landscape left from a legacy of logging in our public forests. These roads represent an unmanageable economic burden on the Forest Service while simultaneously creating public safety concerns, sloughing tons of sediment into fish-bearing streams, and inviting illegal Off-Highway Vehicle use.

Every year, the Forest Service proposes a suite of restoration projects to address the damage of these roads and historic logging practices ranging from the creation of in-stream fish habitat to decommissioning unneeded and ecologically harmful roads. You can find project details of current, proposed, and past restoration work in Mt. Hood National Forest at the link below.

Contact Rob Sadowsky, rob@bark-out.org, to find out how you can help restore Mt. Hood!

 

Click here to view Restoration Projects

Palomar victory hike and Timberline controversy

Urgent Palomar LNG Pipeline action and a visit to Annie's Cabin

Road decommissioning in the Collawash River Watershed

What does decommissioning roads entail and how does it help improve habitat and watershed health?

Report Gives Thumbs-Up to Pacific NW Legacy Roads Program

Federal statistics show up to 24 jobs are created for every $1 million spent on these projects.