Outdoors

Fish suffering from Forest Service road neglect

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, according to Northwest Public Radio. The remaining road was rerouted. (U.S. Forest Service, Region 6)
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, according to Northwest Public Radio. The remaining road was rerouted. (U.S. Forest Service, Region 6)

PUBLIC LANDS — Shrinking budgets at national forests are putting the squeeze on native fisheries.

Cutbacks in maintaning mountain roads have left a backlog of work totalling more than $1 billion in the national forests of Washington and Oregon alone, the Forest Service officials report.

The result is erosion, clogged culverts, road blowouts, blocked fish passage, and spawning areas smothered in silt.

Northwest Public Radio has an excellent report on the situation.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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