Maintenance Cutbacks For Forest Roads Mean More Sediment For Streams
A plugged culvert diverted streamflow onto this forest road in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Legacy Roads and Trails Program funding paid to decommission the high-risk area in this photo. The remaining road was rerouted.|credit:U.S. Forest Servi
Sixty years of heavy traffic by logging trucks, along with trips by forest managers and recreation-seekers have taken a toll on roads that run through Northwest forests.
Tens of thousands of miles of those roads are crumbling, sending sediment and other pollutants into rivers and streams. Fish don’t like that, and many people in the Northwest really don’t like it, which is how the federal Legacy Roads and Trails Program began a few years ago.