Forest Service Drops Plan to Shrink Road Network in Wallowa-Whitman Forest

Apr 19, 2012

Forest Service officials in northeast Oregon have announced they will put on hold a plan to close forest roads. Amelia Templeton reports.

The plan was to go into effect this summer. It would have made about half the roads in the Wallowa-Whitman forest off limits to cars and off road vehicles. The goals: protect habitat and create a more efficient road network. But local residents protested.

Mac Huff is a fishing guide in Joseph, Ore. He says closing the roads would create problems for hunters. And make it harder for him to find fuel for his wood stove.

Huff: “With one main road now through the area that I go to cut wood, there’s no place for me to cut wood. ”

Congressman Greg Walden sided with the opponents, and intervened with a phone call and letter to higher ups in the Forest Service. Conservation group Oregon Wild says it is concerned about the political intervention in the process.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network