Call for input on Collawash River map

Use this forum to report and discuss trails in need of maintenance. This will help organizations like TKO and agencies like the Forest Service get the most recent on-the-ground trail conditions.
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mkrochta
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Joined: October 29th, 2014, 3:00 pm

Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by mkrochta » October 30th, 2014, 9:55 am

Right now, the Mount Hood National Forest is looking for input regarding their road system, which has become and remained unmanageably large (approx. 3,000 miles). This is called the Travel Analysis Process.
Bark, a non-profit that is dedicated to defending and restoring Mount Hood National Forest, is working on a number of road maps that we feel reflect a "right-sized" road system. This is tricky, mainly because the forest gets so many uses and everyone has their spot they enjoy. People may not want to see some roads closed or decommissioned. That said, protecting clean water, wildlife habitat and saving taxpayer money are the motivations of this process.

So I wanted to post this map (http://www.bark-out.org/content/collawa ... r-road-map) I am working on of the Collawash watershed in MHNF to see if folks had any feedback on access needs, particularly hiking, dispersed camping and other quiet recreation. Focus on the roads that are black - do these roads still allow access to the places you enjoy, or are these places only accessed by the red ones? Further, are there any roads (road names or #s if you have them) that you feel could make a great road-to-trail conversion?

Thanks for taking a look at this, and feel free to let me know if there's a different format that might be easier.

payslee

Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by payslee » October 30th, 2014, 12:12 pm

Your map is missing the Whetstone trailhead and it appears that the short spur leading to it is marked in red for removal.

The Whetstone trail is not only beautiful, it provides important connectivity between the trail systems in the BOTW and Opal Creek Wildernesses. Please add the TH and don't remove the short spur to it. FWIW, the spur follows a ridgeline and does not impact fish passage or wetlands.

A trip report from this trail:
http://www.portlandhikers.org/forum/vie ... =8&t=16319

Location of Trailhead at end of a 7020 spur:
whetstoneTH.jpg

Thanks,
payslee

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Swede
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by Swede » October 30th, 2014, 3:03 pm

I think your map is too general and at too small a scale to elicit much meaningful comment. Without road numbers, trailheads, trail names and/or numbers and other identifying information, it's difficult to make any kind of useful response.

I also think that the map is misleading in the sense that many of the roads depicted in red have already been identified by the FS for decommissioning in a formal decision by the District Ranger in 2011. Quite a few have already been decommissioned, and the rest will be, as thinning projects are completed in future years. I suggest that you identify all of the roads in the 2011 decision in a different color. Then we will be able to see what remaining roads are subject to further discussion.

Mostly what your map portrays is Bark's mission to see that the majority of roads in the forest are closed to public access. Your map does an admirable job of making that point.

RobFromRedland
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by RobFromRedland » October 30th, 2014, 3:13 pm

Swede wrote:I think your map is too general and at too small a scale to elicit much meaningful comment. Without road numbers, trailheads, trail names and/or numbers and other identifying information, it's difficult to make any kind of useful response.

I also think that the map is misleading in the sense that many of the roads depicted in red have already been identified by the FS for decommissioning in a formal decision by the District Ranger in 2011. Quite a few have already been decommissioned, and the rest will be, as thinning projects are completed in future years. I suggest that you identify all of the roads in the 2011 decision in a different color. Then we will be able to see what remaining roads are subject to further discussion.

Mostly what your map portrays is Bark's mission to see that the majority of roads in the forest are closed to public access. Your map does an admirable job of making that point.
Ditto! Couldn't have said it better myself.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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-Q-
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by -Q- » October 30th, 2014, 3:31 pm

RobFromRedland wrote:
Swede wrote:I think your map is too general and at too small a scale to elicit much meaningful comment. Without road numbers, trailheads, trail names and/or numbers and other identifying information, it's difficult to make any kind of useful response.

I also think that the map is misleading in the sense that many of the roads depicted in red have already been identified by the FS for decommissioning in a formal decision by the District Ranger in 2011. Quite a few have already been decommissioned, and the rest will be, as thinning projects are completed in future years. I suggest that you identify all of the roads in the 2011 decision in a different color. Then we will be able to see what remaining roads are subject to further discussion.

Mostly what your map portrays is Bark's mission to see that the majority of roads in the forest are closed to public access. Your map does an admirable job of making that point.
Ditto! Couldn't have said it better myself.
I also got very confused when looking at your map. I couldn't figure out what was where.

Glad Payslee brought up the Whetstone Trail TH. Thats a good one and should be preserved.

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adamschneider
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by adamschneider » October 30th, 2014, 3:32 pm

I just looked at BARK's web site; some of their rhetoric seem a little over-the-top to me. I guess it's good to have radicals defining the edges of the debate, but I'd take their stuff with a few big grains of salt.

mkrochta
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by mkrochta » October 30th, 2014, 4:27 pm

Thanks for all your input. It helps to have pointed out that I missed some areas, and that this needs better labeling. I'll get on that. This map is a first draft and this response is really valuable.

As a reply to the comment that the USFS has identified many of these roads already for removal, next time I'll include these. That said, I'll point out that not 100% of these roads are currently closed, and some may be reopened. Just thought I'd start somewhere.

It's true, Bark would like to see less road density in the forest, as even the USFS admits that it has nowhere near the funds available to maintain & repair them all. We'd like to see a more ecologically and economically sensible system of roads out there. However, in no way do we want to restrict the public's access to places they value. This is why I'm floating these maps out there to make sure we get good input on where these places are.

Here's a link to the Travel Analysis Process:http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/ho ... PRD3818668

And open house dates where these roads can be discussed:http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/ne ... PRD3819644

Thanks for your continuing feedback!

RobFromRedland
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by RobFromRedland » October 30th, 2014, 4:34 pm

I can't see enough detail on the map, but Thunder Mountain trailhead is either just off the map or at the edge of it, and I can't tell if the road is marked for decommission or not. In addition, the road to the Baty Butte Trail is similar.

Personally, my take on BARK is that they want to close ALL access to the woods, to let nature take over and leave it to the "locals". I do not think they are a friend to hikers. I think they have their own agenda which is completely at odds with those who like to recreate in the woods. But that is just my opinion. Feel free to change my mind! :lol:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

mcds
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by mcds » October 30th, 2014, 4:40 pm

Welcome to the site and thanks for posting the heads up, mkrochta

I don't know much at all about Bark, other than reading the website articles from time to time. I found the map very useful. It immediately helped me understand Bark's intent is NOT to restrict road access to areas. Instead, their intent is to maintain a penetrating and even access to the region by keeping the main arteries, while closing the smaller arterioles.

Looks to me that under Bark's plan, any spot in the watershed will still remain accessible as a dayhike for the roundtrip. As is currently the case, those would be off trail dayhikes generally speaking. And it looks to me that all existing trailheads would still be drive-ups.

I really appreciate that the map roads and trails are vector graphics, because I can zoom in well over 800% and still see them in detail.

I would not change that PDF page in any way, except possibly remove the TH and Camp icons.

But I would suggest adding a second page with a new vector based map with all the details that others have mentioned above. For the new map it would be helpful to extend the map to the full rectangle of the page, presenting the topology of the bordering regions in grey-scale a include their roads and trails.

Off hand, closing the red roads sounds good. I'm less sure about putting any money into decommissioning them as a rule. I'd also not be opposed to pulling back some trailheads. For example, to reduce visitor ship in Jefferson Park, pull the popular trail heads back a few miles.

mcds
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Re: Call for input on Collawash River map

Post by mcds » October 30th, 2014, 4:46 pm

... and maybe add a 10 word 'statement of intent' to the existing PDF, such as "Maintain main route access, close minor feeders" .... or whatever Bark's intent is.

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