Back country roads face $3.2 million shortfall
October 26, 2014
RAINBOW: People had a chance to place some priorities on places that matter to them last Wednesday night. They did it by marking up maps to show which U.S. Forest Service roads they use and what sort of special places they feel are along those routes.
“You should mark the areas that you appreciate - maybe because you work up there,” explained Matt Peterson, assistant recreation officer for the Willamette Forest. Using comment sheets linked to the marked up maps, people were also encouraged to list some of their thoughts on why those areas are important, what they do there and what sort of road management would be appropriate.
The exercise will be used to help create a “Special Places Mapping Website” that forest planners will use to develop a strategy for ranking where scarce funding could be targeted. Currently, it’s estimated maintenance costs for Willamette Forest roads total close to $5 million. Congressional allocations, however, have fallen short at only $1.8 million.
Peterson gave an example of how expensive maintenance costs can run by referring to last year’s “blowout” of USFS Road 15, leading up to Blue River Reservoir. When a landslide took out one lane of asphalt, the repair work totalled $800,000. Luckily, those costs didn’t have to come out of the normal maintenance account, he added.
People who missed the session last week at the Upper McKenzie Community Center have a chance to make it to the Springfield Interagency Office next Wednesday, October 29th, from 6 to 8 pm. The office is at 3106 Pierce Parkway.
Some of the activities under consideration range from hiking or fishing to timber management or from firewood cutting to hunting.
An interactive mapping tool lets people draw right on a digital map to comment on why they value an area. Anyone with an Internet connection can use the mapping tool, available at http://go.usa.gov/KqGH.
Image above: Monty Wilson, left, explained some of his favorite places within the McKenzie River Ranger District to Matt Peterson and Shane Kamrath, the Willamette Forest’s natural resource officer.
McKenzie River Reflections