Visitors familiar with the classic routed wood signs used in national forests are being mildly startled this season by a new sight at the Troy trailhead for the Wenaha River Trail. It’s made of plastic.
The sign board is made with a yellow core sandwiched between two brown wood-grain plastic layers. The lettering beams in yellow after it’s routed through the brown layer, no painting required.
“I’m just giving those signs a try at a few places, like Asotin Creek and the Tucannon trail at Sheep Creek,” said Rich Martin, Umatilla National Forest trail maintenance manager in Pomeroy.
“They’re cheaper,” he said, but he noted he’ll be watching to see how the plastic holds up to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. “Maybe the rodents won’t be so attracted to chewing on them.”
But farther up the river in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, no plastic signs will be posted under Martin’s watch.
“We still use the traditional unpainted oak for signs in the wilderness,” he said. “They blend into the environment, the way they’re supposed to in wilderness.”