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Sustainable Roads Analysis on Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie NF (WA)

Posted: 08/23/2013
by Thomas O'Keefe

With more than 2,500 miles of roads, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has an extensive road system that supports a variety of public needs, from recreation to resource extraction. Although the road network is extensive and provides access to far reaches of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, it is simply too big for the Forest Service to maintain under current budget resources. Roads are important for whitewater paddlers because they provide critical access to the rivers we all enjoy but unmaintained roads can limit access and cause serious water quality issues that affect river health and the quality of the user experience.

Sustainable Roads Analysis. What is it?
 
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest must identify a more ecologically and financially sustainable road system by 2015. The Travel Management Rule of 2005 requires all national forests to analyze their roads and  propose transportation systems that meet travel, administrative and resource protection needs within available budgets. The Sustainable Roads Analysis will help the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest gather the information necessary to inform and prioritize future decisions about road projects such as upgrades, closures, decommissioning, and road-to-trail conversions. The sustainable roads analysis will not result in a decision on specific road projects; the individual projects will still need to be analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act.
 
Your forest. Your voice.
 
Realizing the importance of the road system to its visitors, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is working with an informal Sustainable Roads Cadre, a diverse group of partners and stakeholders, to make sure the public has a say about the roads that are important to them and to let us know why. The cadre represents a variety of user groups ranging from environmental, hunting, hiking, to off-road vehicles and includes American Whitewater as a member. The cadre will help the Sustainable Roads Analysis process by publicizing, hosting, and facilitating a series of public workshops.
 
While American Whitewater will be completing a formal analysis of roads that are important in accessing rivers for whitewater recreation, we encourage our members and affiliate clubs to join the discussion. You can do this in one of two ways:
 
1) Fill out the online survey.
 
 
2) Attend a community meeting. Three upcoming public workshops are scheduled. Participants will have an opportunity to join in an interactive mapping exercise. Each session is designed to accomodate up to 48 participants so you need to sign up to reserve a spot.
 
 
Sept. 10, 5:30-8 p.m. Bellingham Public Library  RSVP
Sept. 24, 1-3:30 p.m. Monroe Public Library  RSVP
Oct. 9, 5:30-8 p.m. Everett Firefighters Hall 
 
Learn More
 
 
Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012


Associated Projects

Middle Fork Snoqualmie (WA)
AW has been working on resource stewardship along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie in Washington and protecting this drainage for the incredible recreational opportunities it provides.
Nooksack Stewardship (WA)
Public access, hydropower development, and resource stewardship are all ongoing issues on this river system.
Skagit Wild and Scenic (WA)
Public access, riparian protection, and effective resource stewardship are all important to management of the Skagit Wild and Scenic River.
Skykomish Stewardship (WA)
AW is actively engaged in the conservation of the Skykomish River and its tributaries and advocacy for public access.