Access to wilderness

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by flyfool, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. I found this article in the Sunday Seattle Times Pacific NW magazine insert. Has to do with the road washouts in parks and whatnot and the struggle over whether to rebuild them or not. Can't say I got a dog in this fight, as my idea of a hike is a stroll downhill both ways, but I thought folks here would find it interesting.
  2. There's some good fishing up that road.
  3. it is too bad that we have gone for protecting land for people to enjoy as well as all of the other associated benefits to what is now happening. reduced budgets have only given more ammunition to those who want these lands unused (many of whom work for the agencies... such as Olympic National Park).

    if the tourism economy is going to be used as an argument against extractive industries, we should have our agencies work to provide access. i'm not asking for new roads, access, or handicapped trails throughout wilderness... but simply maintaining the access we already have (and as year-round as possible in places like hurricane ridge and paradise)
  4. I've been up that road to the end. That wild and scenic river is a river of mud in the Summer time. About the only time it is clear is in the Fall, Winter, and Spring time. The river opens for fishing when the river is all mud coming down. They should close it in the summer because it is unfishable, and open it for winter Steelheading.

    Now the goody two shoes want it all for themselves. What a hoot.
    flyfool likes this.
  5. In late summer and early fall.

    Personally, I wanted the road to remain closed. Access has some disadvantages, but also some clear advantages. For example, it might become less spooky to visit a beautiful place that lies on the edge of Slash-Ville and Tweaker Valley. I go up there on a cross bike and bushwhack to river. Probably most people still won't go there because it's so out of the way. FR 49 gets into essentially the same stuff, and it's deserted most of the time anyway.

  6. I went in the Suiattle twice last year. Parked at the gate and road the 12 miles to the trail head on my mt bike. 12 miles on a bike seat with a 40lb pack on your back is no fun at all. I went in from there on a couple 40 milers. I'm a bit torn on this. It is remote and beautiful up there now. I saw a ton of wild life and no people. Paradise.

    On the other hand I enjoyed it in my youth when the road was open so what's good for the goose right?

    I am a little concerned with the increase in population that the wilderness will be overrun like the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Maybe a reservation system like they use in the North Cascade National Park would help keep the pressure down.

    Going into other areas I always pack an empty garbage bag and it's half full of crap from other packers that don't get that the wilderness (or world for that matter) is not their garbage can when I come out.

    I love that area and would like to see it preserved for future generations. My first solo back packing trip was when I was 14 (42 years ago) from that trail head to Stehekin.

    They are going to reopen the road so I guess will know if its good or bad in time.

    This is a tough one for me.
    constructeur and flyfool like this.
  7. Not all that tough for me. The road exists and was damaged by floods. Fix it up. If roads are built then the funds for maintaining those roads should funded. Either fund the maintainance of the roads or don't build them at all. Fix that road and if the one to Sloan Peak camp ground hasn't been fixed then get the funding to fix that one also.

    Either that or pave some roads over in eastern WA.
  8. Those are FEDERAL roads, not funded by gas tax dollars, but Federal timber sales. Timber sales are gone and so is the revenue source for maintaining those roads. So who pays NOW??

    With regard to state roads gas tax dollars are being shifted from eastern Washington to western Washington to pay for their "mega" projects; Remember that NOBODY from western Washington comes over the pass.....or so they said when the funding was shifted to western Washington.

    Just turn on your air conditioning so the dust does not enter your vehicle. AND be thankful you don't have all those fisherman coming over the passes!!
    Billy McFly and jwg like this.
  9. If you look into this you will find the majority of the state's tax moneys are collected from the counties on the west side and when monies collected are compared to monies spent more west side money is spent on the east side than the other way around. But, don't let that get in the way of the eastern WA's constant whining about western WA.
    Billy McFly and Steve Call like this.
  10. My hunting Partner drew a bow tag in 1967 for mountain goat, we hiked up to Lime ridge at least seven lakes were below us, saw two rafts fishing Lime lake. Partner goat his Goat and we we arrowed some grouse to take the edge off that freeze dried shit from 1967 Wish I could go back, don't think my broken back would let me. LOL Lots of pics from that trip
  11. Boy, you opened a sore subject for me.

    On federal land, the USFS sells the trees and builds the roads for the lumber companies. Normally, they sell the trees for less than market value and by the time you factor in the cost to build the logging roads, paying government employees to design and build the roads and the damage done to public hwys by the logging trucks, the public is paying for the logging roads one way or the other. If the sale of the lumber covered all the costs of those roads it would be one thing, but it does not.

    I figure if we, the public, helped pay for the logging roads, and we do, then the roads damned well better be maintained for recreational use.

    So, sometime ago, the USFS built logging roads for the harvest of old growth trees in a section of The Willamette National Forest in Oregon. Once the logging operations stopped and the clear cut had nuked the area, the rains caused a landslide to close off the logging road. Problem is, that road was remote and used by hikers and anglers to access what was remaining of beautiful old growth forests and the streams that ran through the forests. The forests and rivers owned by us.

    The USFS refused to reopen the road.

    So who should pay to reopen the road? We ended up paying for the damned road so the USFS should maintain it for recreational use. That's how I see it. They sold the trees at a loss but that ain't our problem. If my tax dollars went to help the timber industry clear cut the forests, then the USFS needs to stop selling the trees at a loss and factor in maintenance of the roads for future use for recreation.

    Federal forests are owned by the American people. Therefore, we should enjoy the benefits of what our taxes pay for. The USFS builds roads in our forests; we'd better have the opportunity to use those roads. Flat and simple.
  12. Well in Region 6 ( OR &WA) at least, the timber sale program most years returned far more to the treasury than the USFS spent on them. Also many if not most of the roads built on the National Forests of the NW were built by the timber purchasers - not the taxpaying public. Also the lions share of of road maintenance was either done by or paid for by the timber purchasers. The recreational users for many years essentially got a free ride on the majority of roads.. Now that the USFS has only a shadow of a timber sale program they, no longer have the money to keep the roads maintained. If you want the USFS to open & maintain roads, you need to talk to your congressman. If congress doesn't grant them the budget to do it it won't get done.
    Also for Region 6, it is far from accurate to say that they sold the trees for less than market value. While there was still a viable timber sale program, there were a great number of mills, and almost every National Forest in the region had tremendous competition for the sales that they put out for bid (~98% of timber sold in region 6 is sold by competitive bid)). Many sales typically sold for 2-3 times their appraised value.
  13. I've seen a lot of fishing access disappear because of wash outs on logging roads. It happens a lot in Western Washington.

    I used to go up on the Suiattle river, cross the bridge that used to be there. And go explore the hills and beaver ponds on the other side of the river. Since that bridge is no longer there, I can image the the fish are getting quite big by now.

    You used to be able to get all around the hills around Darrington but the coming of locked gates closed it all down.
  14. BB, not all National Forest timber is sold at a loss... the article indicates as such. However, it does indicate that somehow, State governments are able to sell their timber at a profit so they can maintain logging roads in State forests. But as a whole, the national sale of our timber is for a loss.

    It is indeed the fault of the feds for setting up the manner in which the USFS operates when they created the department. As usual, the federal government set it up to benefit special interest groups such as the timber industry. It is a great deal for the timber companies to pay less for trees than they do on private or State owned lands.

    The USFS is under no obligation to sell the trees for a profit. That should change and you are correct in directing the blame to Congress.

    As far as the mills go, well... once the timber is harvested, the USFS has no say as to what happens to the logs. The logs may or may not go to US mills. I remember eating breakfast at a restaurant in Astoria and watching thousands of board feet of logs loaded on Japanese cargo ships. They did not go to US mills. They did not provide jobs at US mills.

    Once the logs are in the hands of those who purchased the logs, they can do whatever they'd like with the product. Many, many mills have replaced jobs with automation so the link between the selling of our trees to benefit our mill workers is a link that no longer exists.

    The mandate of the USFS should most definitely be changed by Congress, no doubt about that. Timber companies selling the logs to foreign mills and not using US mills is another topic.

    When it comes to the sale of our trees to the timber industry and maintaining logging roads, if the sport angling and outdoor enthusiasts had a lobby as large as the timber companies, I suppose things would change.
  15. Where to start?

    1. Many USFS sales sell for more than the mills pay for state or private timber. For instance the on the300,000 acres of private timberland that I managed , the transfer rate to the mills was considerably less than the company paid for USFS timber. Yet that land showed a profit every year. Of course I didn't need to have a battery of high priced lawyers to defend against frivolous law suits or a corps of 'ologists to bomb proof every action against appeal. I got by with one Phd wildlife bio and one hydrologist, in addition to my foresters, yet according to ODF&W, we had higher densities of Elk, Deer, Pileated Woodpeckers, and Pine Marten than existed on adjacent USFS land. In most cases where the amount paid for USFS timber is less than for timber from other sources, it is because the USFS added bunch of costly extra requirements to the harvest contract that have little or nothing to do with normal logging costs or environmental protection.

    2 The companies are required to paint mark (yellow paint) and end brand the logs that come off USFS, and are barred from exporting those logs. If they buy Federal timber they are even barred from exporting timber they acquire from other sources. The USFS regularly checks the export ports and if a company is caught violating this rule, they are barred from buying Fedaeral timber. Timber that you saw being exported came off ground owned by outfits that do not buy Federal timber ( eg. Weyerhauser, Starker Forests, Hancock Timber Resources, Campbell Group, Forest Capital Partners, etc.). How would you like it if the government told you you couldn't sell your crop to the highest bidder. Imagine the uproar if the farmers were told they couldn't sell their wheat & soy beans overseas.

    3. The USFS mandate to place a priority on selling timber changed well over a decade ago, and the amount of timber sold now is a very small percentage of what it was then. Yet the growth rate of timber on the USFS (at least in Region 6) far exceeds the amount harvested. Heck the amount that burns up every year far exceeds the harvest.

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