Statement on proposed Legacy Roads and Trails bill

Statement on proposed Legacy Roads and Trails bill

Conservation Northwest / Jun 29, 2020 / Habitat Restoration, Legislation, National Forests

U.S. Representatives Kim Schrier and Derek Kilmer introduced a bill that would permanently reauthorize legacy trails and roads, decommissioning obsolete forest roads and restoring degraded habitat. This bill will be included in the House’s Moving Forward Act. IN response, Conservation NOrthwest released the following statement:

The Forest Service has built a massive road network, nearly twice the size of our national highway system, with thousands of miles of abandoned or obsolete roads into old logging sites. Roads are a principle source of water pollution, stream sedimentation and flooding. With a $3 billion maintenance backlog, many Forest Service roads are a chronic threat to fish habitat and aquatic ecosystems.

The “Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program” which, thanks to Representatives Schrier and Kilmer, has been included in the newly-introduced Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), would provide funds to address the decrepit transportation system.

“We owe a lot to U.S. Representatives Schrier and Kilmer for advancing legislation that directly improves water quality, aquatic habitat, and ecological resilience to climate change by removing obsolete and unnecessary roads,” said Dave Werntz, Science and Conservation Director, “and supports the skilled local workforce that gets this necessary watershed restoration work done.”

Read MORE IN this press release from Congresswoman Kim Schrier, or learn more about sustainable forest roads on our webpage.
A washed out forest road in the Methow Valley Ranger District. Outdated roads built for logging but no longer needed for access can harm habitat, clean watersheds, and quiet outdoor recreation. Photo: OWNF