Forum Index > Stewardship > Lower Dungeness/Gold Creek boondoggle (Olympic NF)
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RodF
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PostFri Mar 17, 2017 6:39 pm 
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Lower Dungeness/Gold Creek trailhead parking area has been closed the past two years due to a deep-seated slump/slide that began in Nov. 2014.  It will be rebuilt in July 2017 at a cost of $60,000.  Correction: the estimated cost is $123,069.
This project wrote:
Emergency Relief for Federal Roads, FY 2016, Gold Creek Trail Access
Forest Service Road (FSR) 2870-0230 at Milepost (MP) 1.3 maintenance within the right-of-way, to recondition road, parking lot and replacement of 36" culvert. Maintenance includes regrading, compacting and resurfacing to restore recreational access.

Correction: "While $123,069 was authorized, only $28,362 (internal Engineering Records) was actually spent to mitigate damage, reduce public safety hazards, and prevent further impacts resulting from the road drainage system. Full repair was not implemented because of the uncertain long-term objectives for motorized access at this location." - Final EA page 170, released 5/24/2019.

Olympic NF today announced that after this trailhead parking area is rebuilt, it intends to abandon it by converting the 1.4 mile road leading to it to trail.
This project wrote:
Dungeness Watershed Roads Management Project
Treatment of about 25 miles of roads identified in the draft Dungeness Watershed Action Plan. Treatment may include road closings, decommissionings, or decommissionings and convertings to trail.
Proposed Action Table...
Road number 2870-230, TH Relocation - Gold Creek, Convert to Trail, milepost 0.01 to 1.41

This road (formerly FS 2860) is currently Maintenance Level 4 (passenger cars, high comfort) in the forest's Access and Travel Management Plan because it provides access to two popular trailheads.  No cost estimate for decommissioning/trail conversion has been made by the Forest Service.  (Based on similar past projects, I guess $125,000 to $180,000 to remove this serviceable and much-used road.)

Why spend $123,000 to rebuild a trailhead parking lot, only to abandon it a year later?
Answer: the Forest Service doesn't care because the money comes from the Federal Highway Administration, not out of their own budget.  shakehead.gif

parking area from above road slump
parking area from above road slump
slump and broken 36" culvert
slump and broken 36" culvert
slump in parking area entrance
slump in parking area entrance
slump in parking area loop
slump in parking area loop

Comments may be submitted to Dana Butler, Project Lead, Olympic National Forest, danabutler@fs.fed.us  by April 17, 2017.

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"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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Ski
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PostFri Mar 17, 2017 8:43 pm 
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RodF wrote:
"...due to a deep-seated slump/slide that began in Nov. 2014...."

That part of your statement causes me to wonder if this condition will be an on-going problem in the future. Is there water moving under the roadway below the road underlayment or under the culvert?
What, if any, hydrological or geological tests have been done there?

If I'm reading those two pages correctly, the first one you cited is being paid for with ERFO money. (?)

What I find more curious is that the only two comment letters look like they were written March 18, 2017 in the early hours of the morning (Pacific Standard Time.) That would be about 4 hours from now (Pacific Daylight Time.)

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RodF
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PostSat Mar 18, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Good questions.  I've requested the Decision Memo, which should contain the answers.

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"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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PostSat Mar 18, 2017 8:16 pm 
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From: USDA Forest Service forestservice@public.govdelivery.com

Friday, March 17, 2017 14:59 PDT

Dear Interested Party:

The purpose of this message is to inform you of the Dungeness Watershed Roads Management Project on the Hood Canal Ranger District of the Olympic National Forest.

The proposed road treatments would improve watershed resiliency and health, protect fish spawning and rearing habitat, improve water quality, and result in a more sustainable road system. The project area is located on the Hood Canal Ranger District in Clallam County, primarly in the Dungeness River watershed near Sequim, WA. The legal locations are as follows: T27N, R3W, Sections, 7, 8 , 14, 15; T28N, R3W, Sections 3-11, 14-24, 28-30; T28N, R4W, Sections 2, 25; T29N, R2W, Sections 28-33; T29N, R4W, Sections 14-16; 19-30, 32-36.

The Forest Service is initiating an environmental analysis of the project as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The analysis is anticipated to be documented in an Environmental Assessment (EA). The proposal and related maps are available for review and comment at the project website:

http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=49643

The Forest is analyzing 33 roads and proposing the following actions:

decommission 16.12 miles of high risk or unneeded roads
close 13.89 miles of roads to public use but retain for administrative use (storage)
relocate 2 trailheads (Silver Lakes and Gold Creek trailheads)
convert 1.41 miles of road to trail
protect 1 roadway habitat area for Taylor's Checkerspot butterfly
Reducing sediment inputs from deteriorating roads and minimizing the potential for road related mass wasting events are the primary objectives of the proposed road-to-trail conversions.

To comment on this project, visit the project website listed above and click "Comment on Project" in the "Get Connected" heading on the right hand side of the webpage and follow onscreen instructions. Written comments should be mailed to the Responsible Official, Paula Jablonski, through Dana Butler, Project Lead, Olympic National Forest, 1835 Black Lake Blvd SW, Olympia, WA  98512. If you have questions concerning the project please call 360-956-2280 or email danabutler@fs.fed.us.

The attached letter provides more information about the project activities and the comment process.

We welcome your comments on this proposal. Submitting your comments by April 17, 2017 will allow us adequate time to best use them.

Thank you for your interest in the Olympic National Forest.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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MyFootHurts
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PostSat Mar 18, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Ski wrote:
relocate 2 trailheads (Silver Lakes and Gold Creek trailheads)

That can only mean they're going to close 2860 at the Tubal Cain trailhead
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Chico
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PostSat Mar 18, 2017 10:00 pm 
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Ski wrote:
What I find more curious is that the only two comment letters look like they were written March 18, 2017 in the early hours of the morning (Pacific Standard Time.) That would be about 4 hours from now (Pacific Daylight Time.)

Server's time setting. Wherever that server might be located.

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PostSat Mar 18, 2017 10:09 pm 
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MyFootHurts wrote:
Ski wrote:

That's a copy-and-paste of the email from Olympic National Forest. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

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Klapton
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PostSun Mar 19, 2017 9:55 am 
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RodF wrote:
Answer: the Forest Service doesn't care because the money comes from the Federal Highway Administration, not out of their own budget.  shakehead.gif

And who cares about those idiot tax-payers?

Actually, a government agency only wasting $60k is rather impressive.
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trestle
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PostSun Mar 19, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Ski wrote:
The proposed road treatments would improve watershed resiliency and health, protect fish spawning and rearing habitat, improve water quality, and result in a more sustainable road system.

Thanks Ski. Closing the Lower Dungeness trailhead won't do any of the above except the last item on the list.

Decommission 16 miles of "unneeded" road.  rant.gif 

I need to take a deep breath.

Will there be any public meetings about this proposal or is the website the only way to respond?  Maybe I missed something that's already been posted...

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RodF
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PostMon Mar 20, 2017 6:58 pm 
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MyFootHurts wrote:
Ski wrote:
relocate 2 trailheads (Silver Lakes and Gold Creek trailheads)

That can only mean they're going to close 2860 at the Tubal Cain trailhead

Correct, it also proposes to decommission without trail conversion the last 1.4 miles of FS2870 (former 2860) from Tubal Cain trailhead to Silver Lake way trailhead.  When USFS proposed decommissioning with trail conversion 4 years ago, a local petition opposing it got about 128 signatures in 2 weeks.  Now, even worse, it will be made impassible on foot.

trestle wrote:
Will there be any public meetings about this proposal or is the website the only way to respond?

At this scoping step of the Dungeness Watershed Roads Management Project, the public may comment by US Mail, e-mail or at the website.

There will be a second comment period on the finalized project in July.  Typically this begins with a public informational meeting, but this hasn't been announced yet.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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RodF
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PostTue Apr 11, 2017 10:19 pm 
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More information on the Gold Creek/Lower Dungeness Trailhead repair project has been released:

Federal Highway Administration, Federal Lands Highway Division wrote:

Damage Survey Report No. 2870230-1.3, Disaster No. WA2015-1-FS

Description and Cause of Damage:
Site was saturated with rainfall and toes out on the Dungeness River with very high event flows causing the road and parking lot to slip down 5' to 10' down.

Scope/Description of Repair: Reconstruct road, parking lot and replace 36" CMP, Ramp down into road and circle parking lot and resurface to match existing site conditions.  Trailhead leads to Pacific NW Trail network & proposed FLTP [Federal Lands Transportation Program] network.  The trail head is for a National Scenic Trail [the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail].

Cost estimate for Permanent Repairs: $123,069

Again, why propose to repair the trailhead parking area to restore access, while also proposing to decommission the road to it a year later, removing access and rendering the $123,000 repair pointless?

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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drm
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PostWed Apr 12, 2017 12:09 pm 
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RodF wrote:
Again, why propose to repair the trailhead parking area to restore access, while also proposing to decommission the road to it a year later, removing access and rendering the $123,000 repair pointless?

So that the decommissioning equipment has access?  lol.gif
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PostWed Apr 12, 2017 3:06 pm 
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comment submitted 04/12/17 16:05 PDT

and yes, of course, I was my usual diplomatic self. lol.gif

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RodF
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PostTue Jul 03, 2018 2:26 pm 
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Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal Ranger District, has prepared a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Dungeness Watershed Roads Management Project.  The Preliminary EA is now available for a 30-day comment period.

On the Project Webpage https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=49643
Click on "Analysis" bar to view the project Environmental Assessment or preferred Alternative A road decommissioning map.
Click on "Comment/Object on Project" on the right to comment on the project.

Access to three trailheads is affected:
- Lower Dungeness/Gold Creek trailhead (FS2870-230 decommissioning & trail conversion)
- Silver Lake way trailhead (FS2870 decommissioning with no trail conversion)
- Maynard Burn/Tyler Peak way trailhead (FS2870-270 gated closed June 1-August 31).

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"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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trestle
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PostWed Jul 04, 2018 4:07 am 
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According to the Project:

"Treatment of about 25 miles of roads identified...as impacting or at risk of impacting aquatic resources"

Yet neither of these projected closures impact or are at risk of impacting aquatic resources, the only thing at risk is access to trailheads.
- Silver Lake way trailhead (FS2870 decommissioning with no trail conversion)
- Maynard Burn/Tyler Peak way trailhead (FS2870-270 gated closed June 1-August 31)

Here's their map where one can see the two closures listed above do not impact aquatic resources.

The issue of double-spending of taxpayer dollars seems to call for higher political interest.

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