Plan to close 1,600 miles of Olympic National Forest roads to be discussed at meeting tonight

Peninsula Daily News

The first of a series of meetings on a U.S. Forest Service proposal to close about 1,600 miles of Olympic National Forest's 2,500 miles of roads is being held today in Port Angeles.

The Forest Service wants public input on the closures, including which to close in some cases, a Forest Service spokesman said.

Today's meeting will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Clallam County Courthouse commissioners' meeting room at 223 E. Fourth St.

The other North Olympic Peninsula meetings:

■   Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Olympic Natural Resources Center, 1455 S. Forks Ave., Forks.

■   June 25: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Quilcene School in the multipurpose room, 294715 Highway 101

■   July 17: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Port Townsend Community Center, 620 Tyler St.

■   July 30: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Olympic National Forest’s Quinault Ranger Station, 353 South Shore Road.

The Forest Service's premise for closing 1,600 miles of roads: Olympic’s timber harvesting heyday is past, leaving the forest with a little-used and rapidly degrading network of logging roads. The cost of repairing and maintaining the roads is far beyond Olympic’s dramatically downsized budget. Current funding can support 600 to 800 miles out of the 2,500-mile network.

Here's the Olympic National Forest website discussing more about its proposed road closures. Included is an online opportunity for the public to respond for those who don't want to go to any of the open-house-style meetings.

Click here: http://tinyurl.com/pdn-onfroads

Last modified: June 17. 2014 3:04PM
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