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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Monday September 24, 2018 15:30 PDT

Wynoochee Restoration & Road Management Project Proposal - Olympic National Forest

Dear Interested Party:

The Hood Canal Ranger District, Olympic National Forest would like to share our proposal for forest management and other restoration activities identified in the Wynoochee River watershed. The Wynoochee project area is located about 40 miles northeast of Aberdeen, WA in Grays Harbor County.

The Wynoochee River Watershed is a Tier 1 key watershed meaning it is expected to provide, high-quality habitat for at-risk fish species, including salmon and bull trout. Clearcutting and road building activities in the 1900s, however, impacted the forest, riparian, and aquatic habitats in the Wynoochee River watershed. Similar timber harvesting activities across the Olympic National Forest during that time contributed to the drastic reduction of old growth habitat for threatened species such as the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet. A reduced road maintenance budget and a deteriorating road system threaten riparian and aquatic habitats.

The national forest seeks to speed the development of old growth habitat and improvement of riparian habitat in this important key watershed. This would be done by thinning dense, second-growth forest stands to allow the remaining trees to grow faster and allowing a greater diversity of plants to establish in the understory.  Aging roads that threaten aquatic habitats and are lesser priority for access and maintenance would be closed or decommissioned to better focus limited funds on key transportation corridors.

The detailed proposal with maps is available for review and comment on the project website (hard copies are available upon request): https://www.fs.usda.gov//project/?project=53124

Major activities proposed include:

- Accelerating the development of old-growth habitat on 5,000 acres of second-growth forest through commercial thinning.

- Lowering the maintenance level of approximately 19 miles of road from maintenance level 3 (standard passenger car) to maintenance level 2 (high clearance vehicles) [2].

- Closing 45 miles and decommissioning (removing from the road system) 16 miles of open, maintenance level 2 (high clearance vehicles) roads. While decommissioning and closing roads would result in reduced access by motor vehicles, hiking and other non-motorized access would still be allowed in those corridors. Dispersed recreation opportunities such as pull-outs at junctions of decommissioned roads would be considered where it doesn’t pose risks to aquatic resources.

- Decommissioning 52 miles (approximately half) of roads that are already closed to motor vehicles (maintenance level 1).

- Converting 1.8 miles of forest road to trail.

Invitation to Comment on the Proposal
We are informing you about this proposal so you can provide comments to us. Your comments will be considered and used to identify issues associated with the proposal, which could lead to modifications of the proposed action, alternatives, mitigation measures, or elements of project design, so please be as specific as possible. The planning process will include considering the input we receive, as well as assessing positive and negative effects to wildlife, fish, sensitive plants, heritage, and other resources. Comments received by October 30, 2018 would be most helpful for the further development of this project. We expect to have a preliminary Environmental Assessment available for review and a formal comment period in spring or summer of 2019. There will be an opportunity to comment again at that time.

This is a project implementing a land management plan and is subject to subparts A and B of 36 CFR 218 (Project-level Pre-decisional Administrative Review (Objection) Process). Those submitting specific written comments will have the opportunity to participate in the future objection process. All comments will become a matter of public record. Electronic comments are preferred.

To submit comments, go to the project website listed above and click the "Comment/Object on Project" link under the Get Connected heading on the right.

Comments can also be mailed to: Yewah Lau, Hood Canal District Ranger, c/o Kim Crider, 1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Olympia, WA 98512. If you have any questions, additional information can be provided by Kim Crider, Environmental Coordinator, at 360-956-2376 or kcrider@fs.fed.us.

-USFS-

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HumpnoocheeGirl
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 8:19 pm 
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The 1.2 miles of decommissioning road to trail is the Wynoochee Pass Trailhead.

OPAC aka Olympic Public Access Coalition will comment to retain current access. WTA maintains this beautiful trail. Please comment to help maintain current access.

Thank you,
Mitzi
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RodF
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PostMon Sep 24, 2018 10:27 pm 
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On the USFS project page, Map6_Proposed Road Actions & Restoration Projects shows two roads proposed to be converted to trail:

- 1.5 miles of FS2270-400 spur to Wynoochee Pass trailhead (including the last 0.3 miles to the former trailhead at the road switchback which has not been open for several years since a rockslide onto the roadbed).  So looks like it adds 1.2 miles and 400 ft elevation gain.  This includes two major stream crossings (S. Fork Creek and Chicamin/Discovery Creek) and two minor stream crossings; not sure if they intend to leave or remove those culverts (they do not denote them with "blue dots" as improved fish passage) or provide footlogs or nothing but rough scrambles and fords.  Sundown Lake is just within dayhike range by this route, and probably won't be anymore.

- 0.3 miles at the end of FS2270-500 spur to Klone Lakes.  I think this hasn't been maintained for years anyway and probably won't make Klone Lakes significantly more inaccessible than it already is?

The 2270 Wynoochee Road loop will no longer be a loop; about 2-1/2 miles on the west side of the loop will be closed.

Note also FS2270-560 would be decommissioned.  Not sure if people use this to access Discovery Lake or Lake Connie by off-trail routes?

Wynoochee Lakeshore Trail crosses three of the thinning units on the west shore and one or two on the east shore.  Not sure how the trail will be affected.

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Fullripbrian
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PostTue Sep 25, 2018 11:35 am 
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Thanks for posting this info.  The 'Nooch needs some love.

Is the 2270-560 the spur that ends in a landing/gravel pit off the loop?  If so, I've used that to access both of the lakes you mention.  So long as the 2270-400 remains accessible on the eastern side of the loop, I'll be a happy camper.
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JonnyQuest
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PostTue Sep 25, 2018 12:02 pm 
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Fullripbrian wrote:
Is the 2270-560 the spur that ends in a landing/gravel pit off the loop?

That's the one.  Can be used to access Discovery Lake and Peak, as well as the park boundary ridge and beyond.  Not sure what they intend with "decommission", as if I remember correctly you can't drive beyond the gravel pit which is near the start of the road.
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PostTue Sep 25, 2018 12:21 pm 
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Vehicle access is effectively cutoff at the landing.  There's a washed out culvert just past the gravel pit then a few tank traps and washouts as you continue contouring the hillside toward the path up to discovery lake.

I've found trash and shell casings littering the gravel pit the most recent times I've been up there.  Decommissioning that spur may resolve some of that and wouldn't prohibit anyone from reaching the destinations that lie beyond.
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Pyrites
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PostTue Sep 25, 2018 8:36 pm 
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Anderson Butte is accessed off 2372-020.

There would be a reason to cut a few trees off the existing walked away from road. Abandoning culverts doesn’t work. Removal is called for.

I’d like to see the end result be walkable.

I’d also like to see trail 865 to the Butte logged out. It’s also necessary to re-survey 865. It is not shown at the correct location. I don’t mean a few meters off. It’s shown on the wrong side ridge.

That said I don’t mind the area along 020 being thinned. I don’t even mind route being closed during logging and haul. I’d just care about final status.

Link to our L.O. Guru’s report:

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8020586&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=anderson+butte

Best.

Pyrites
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JonnyQuest
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PostWed Sep 26, 2018 12:56 pm 
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Fullripbrian wrote:
Decommissioning that spur may resolve some of that and wouldn't prohibit anyone from reaching the destinations that lie beyond.

Yes, the additional walk would be negligible, assuming there was parking near the gate or berm.  Of course, it would eliminate the dispersed camping at the landing, which I've enjoyed in the past.
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RodF
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PostThu Sep 27, 2018 10:31 am 
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Pyrites wrote:
Anderson Butte is accessed off 2372-020.

Link to our L.O. Guru’s report:

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8020586&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=anderson+butte

Eric Wilhite hiked the closed FS2372-040 spur roadbed up to the old Anderson Butte Trail, not the -020, which is much lower down the mountainside.  The map proposes "No Change" for the closed -040 spur, so shouldn't affect it.

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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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HumpnoocheeGirl
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PostSat Oct 27, 2018 2:17 pm 
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UPDATE:

I've recently spoke with the Planning Team. Here is what I know:

*The 400 Spur leading to Wynoochee Pass TH will be converted road to trail. Two and possibly three culverts will be pulled. Unless someone wants to share $400,000 to replace the culverts. smile.gif

*2270-560 will remain open to the gravel pit parking area as it is now. The old road will remain as is, even though it will be officially decommissioned, so hiking access will stay the same.

They are very aware of the importance to users of that area up top and are keeping that open for us, including access to Three Peaks and the 2270-500 upper access to Klone Lakes. We very much appreciate that. The upper NW portion of the 2270 (approx. 3 miles) will be closed - ML1.

All roads proposed for closure in this watersed will be left passable to wildlife and humans - non motorized. They will mitigate culverts and fill where needed.

We are glad to see the restoration coming to this watershed. It is much needed.

Commenting is still open until October 30th. up.gif

https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53124

Wynoochee Restoration and Roads Project
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Ski
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PostSat Oct 27, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Thank you for your efforts on this Humpnoocheegirl! wub.gif

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HumpnoocheeGirl
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PostSat Oct 27, 2018 5:56 pm 
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And THANK YOU Ski 😊
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PostSat Oct 27, 2018 9:29 pm 
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anybody remember that trip report with LOTS of photos where they had to walk up that gawdawful mess that USFS called a "roads to trails" project?

the trail zig-zagged about every 30 feet and they placed big stumps and logs all along both sides of the "trail" so that negotiating it on a mountain bike was damn near impossible.

was at least a few years back. cannot recall who/what/when/where.

if somebody can dig that up I'd appreciate it. would love to send the photos to the District Ranger on this project and show them what NOT to do.

thanks.

BK

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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HumpnoocheeGirl
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PostSat Oct 27, 2018 10:07 pm 
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I’m thinking Ranger Rock. I know she has some photos.
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Ski
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PostSat Oct 27, 2018 11:08 pm 
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Road-to-Trail Long Island - Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge Sept 19 2013
Road-to-Trail Long Island - Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge Sept 19 2013
The big Hemlock at center is about 48-inches DBH - uncompromised west-slope Olympic temperate rain forest Queets River Valley Olympic National Park Sept 05 2018
The big Hemlock at center is about 48-inches DBH - uncompromised west-slope Olympic temperate rain forest Queets River Valley Olympic National Park Sept 05 2018

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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