Tonight (Wednesday Dec. 1st) the Umpqua National Forest held a public meeting on the Steamboat Restoration Project. The proposed alternative will decommission 38 miles of drivable roads and another 34 miles of undrivable roads for a total of 72 miles of road decommissioning (as well as in-stream projects and road improvement.). |
The public meeting was held at the usual place, in a meeting room in the public library in Roseburg. But the crowd that came could not all fit - over 200 people showed up, mostly large-sized men with loud voices. There was also the right-wing state senator Bill Fisher, the super right-wing county commissioner Dan Van Slyke, the just elected super super right-wing county commissioner Marilyn Kittleman.
The Forest Service started out by giving a presentation of why they are decommissioning roads -- LSR, Key Watershed, and virtually no money for road maintenance. They can only maintain 27% of existing roads. They did a good analysis of how many acres would have reduced fire protection and mitigated it by keeping some roads open for ATV for fire suppression only. There is another 4,800 miles of roads on the Umpqua NF they are not decommissioning. But the presenter was a young woman with a soft voice that sometimes had to talk over jeers and laughter.