Closing USFS Roads

Don Baccus dhogaza at
Wed Apr 15 13:32:38 EST 1998

In article <3534F93B.4014 at>,
Don Staples  <dstaples at> wrote:
>Don Baccus wrote:

>> Also engineering work to stop landslides, erosion, limit runoff, etc.

>That work was done when they built the roads, they can now just close
>the roads and let nature take its course.

Ummm...the highway you ride to work each day was also engineered when
it was built.  You may've noticed that the state still maintains the
damned thing, though.

Why not just let nature take its course?  Because the failure mode
for roads can be fairly nasty.  Clogged culverts alone are a 
frequent cause of washouts and landslides, and such events often
carry away a bunch fo soil leading to a slow-to-regrow scar that
dumps sediment into the nearest streambed over a long period.

Nature HAS been taking its course on many of these roads, as the
road-building program has always favored building new roads to provide
access to areas being opened to harvest.

So the USFS is funding upgraded maintenance on some roads as part
of the road building moratorium.  Other roads are to be removed. 

And a lot are going to be just left there with neither maintenance
or proper closure, which should please you no end.

- Don Baccus, Portland OR <dhogaza at>
  Nature photos, on-line guides, at

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