An old road on the Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest with significant drainage and culvert issues that need to be addressed.
Earlier this year representatives from the Outdoor Alliance met with Forest Service leadership to highlight opportunities and present perspectives from the outdoor recreation community (both Access Fund and American Whitewater conducted membership surveys to identify areas of interest). We are now starting to see how the funding will be distributed to different projects.
Throughout the region of Washington and Oregon $9 million will go towards road maintenance including structure replacement, improved drainage, and culvert replacement all in the name of improving long term integrity of the road network in a manner that also addresses ongoing impacts to the aquatic resources that suffer from poorly maintained roads.
In the Puget Sound Region another $5.6 million will be directed towards deferred road maintenance and road decommissioning. These projects will focus on longstanding maintenance issues on key transportation corridors while removing roads that have served their social and economic purposes. Many old roads that have not been drivable for many years and are no longer needed continue to have ongoing impacts to aquatic resources.
On the Gifford Pinchot National Forest $4.9 in projects have been identified that focus on forest bridge design and replacement. Bridges that now provide important access for recreational users were constructed over 50 years and have outlived their design life. This project will address access issues to trailheads on this forest.
On the Olympic National Forest $4.5 million will be directed to watershed projects with a focus on the South Fork Skokomish and Sol Duc watersheds. The projects will include decommissioning some roads and upgrading others. Work will include replacements of failing culverts with appropriately sized bridges which will reduce the risk of collapse, improve vehicle and visitor safety, and insure continued access to many miles of existing forest roads.
In addition to these projects there will also be a project to replace the single pane windows at the Olympia Forestry Sciences lab and a series of projects to repair and restore facilities used by the public on the Olympic National Forest.