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Alan Bauer
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Alan Bauer
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PostSat Dec 27, 2003 12:10 am 
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I just saw this go by....figured others might be interested in reading what some ideas regarding the now still closed up last 5 miles of the Dosewallips River Road are being stewed up. They don't really know if they can fix it in place....the by-pass idea here is covered in detail. Or do they close it off for good and give up trying to repair that area.

For what it's worth, here is the info.
-Alan
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The Dosewallips Bypass: New Road Construction through an Ancient Forest Update December 26 by Tim McNulty, Olympic Park Associates

Background:  During a winter storm in January, 2002, floodwaters washed out 300 feet of the Dosewallips Road (Forest Road 2610) in Olympic National Forest ten miles west of Highway 101.  In May of that year the forest service released an environmental assessment (EA) proposing to rebuild the road in place using riprap and engineered log jams.  In September, 2003, the forest service announced a retreat from that earlier decision admitting it was in violation of the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan.  A revised EA is due out in February, 2004.  All indications are that the preferred alternative will be to build a half-mile bypass road on the forested slope above the washout (Alternative C in the earlier EA).

On December 22, John Woolley of Olympic Forest Coalition and I walked the proposed route for the Dosewallips bypass road.  It has been surveyed and flagged, and center posts are set for the road bed.  Walking it is an eye-opener.  It traverses an exquisite, low-elevation old-growth forest ribboned with seasonal streams (see attached photos). John and I measured Douglas-firs larger than six feet in diameter along the flag line, a spectacular size for the relatively dry slopes of the east Olympics.  The biggest trees showed burn scars from ancient fires.  There are also a number of large western red cedar (up to four feet in diameter) and understory western hemlock, suggesting a long fire-free period.  On an earlier trip, John counted 167 trees larger than 3 feet in diameter within 30 feet either side of the center line.  The forest stand is open, easily traversed, with vine maple common in the understory and a thick carpet of sword fern and Oregon grape.  Numerous snags, down logs and a multistoried canopy attest to productive old-growth habitat. The proposed road will traverse moderate to steep sidehills with excessively steep slopes where the route leaves and returns to the existing road.  The downstream slope involves channelization and fill of 150 feet of a small unnamed coho stream (I saw fingerlings in its clear waters).  The upstream slope exceeds 45 degrees (100 percent slope) in places.  The proposed route also crosses numerous seasonal streams. About midpoint, the route traverses a section of younger forest grown up following a 1950s-era cut.  An old skidroad grade, grown in with alders, is visible approaching from the area of the washout.  Beyond it, the forest returns to old-growth condition. This area is currently classified as Late Successional Reserve, Riparian Reserve and Key Watershed under the Northwest Forest Plan.  All place stringent controls over road building and development.  It is also adjacent to the Buckhorn Wilderness.  In its earlier EA, Olympic National Forest dismissed the bypass option as unfeasible siting slope instability, sedimentation of salmon streams, and impacts on wildlife.  Spotted owls have been known to occur in the area in the past, though the forest service has not surveyed for owls here in several years.  A number of trees also appear to support nesting habitat suitable for marbled murrelets.  Impacts of road construction on listed and at-risk salmon stocks in the river are also a major concern. OPA and Olympic Forest Coalition are preparing to appeal this decision.  We believe that ending the road at the washout and converting the upper five miles of road to trail is the only ecologically sound management option available for the Dosewallips.

At present, the Quilcene-Brinnon Chamber of Commerce and Olympic National Park have lobbied the forest service to reconstruct the road.  We hope other individuals and organizations will weigh-in on this project when the decision is made public in February.  Forests like these have not been roaded or logged in the Olympics for more than a decade.  By undermining the Northwest Forest Plan during a time when the Bush administration is maneuvering to weaken the plan and ramp up logging in Northwest forests, this project sets a dangerous precedent. To comment, write David Craig, Hood Canal Ranger District, Olympic National Forest, P.O. Box 280, Quilcene, WA  98376. For more information, contact: Tim McNulty, president, Olympic Park Associates <mcmorgan@olypen.com> or Jim Scarborough, president, Olympic Forest Coalition <Whulj@aol.com>.  Photographs may be reproduced, photo credit Olympic Park Associates.
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reststep
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Joined: 17 Dec 2001
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reststep
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PostSat Dec 27, 2003 8:04 am 
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Olympic Park Associates have been against the reopening of the road from the beginning.  I think they are the same organization that is against helecoptering new shelters, that are already built, into Home Sweet Home and Low Divide.

Here is some more info about the Dosewallips Road

Olympic Park Associates

Article in Bremerton Sun Nov. 3 2003

Article in the Bremerton Sun Nov. 7 2003

Forest Service EA Statement

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"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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NW7US
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Location: Brinnon, WA
NW7US
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PostMon Jan 12, 2004 3:03 pm 
Another link of interest regarding the Dosewallips Road
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Another link of interest regarding the washout of the Dosewallips:

Dosewallips Road Washout
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