Transportation

Meetings scheduled to discuss road maintenance in Eldorado National Forest

Thunder Mountain towers above Silver Lake in Eldorado National Forest, where officials are developing plans for maintaining the roads.
Thunder Mountain towers above Silver Lake in Eldorado National Forest, where officials are developing plans for maintaining the roads. Sacramento Bee file

Eldorado National Forest officials have scheduled three public meetings to discuss a process for determining maintenance of the forest’s road system.

Meetings regarding the draft travel analysis report will be held:

▪ 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Pollock Pines Community Center, 2675 Sanders Drive, Pollock Pines.

▪ 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Georgetown Ranger Station, U.S. Forest Service, 7600 Wentworth Springs Road, Georgetown.

▪ 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Amador County Administration Building, Board of Supervisors Chamber, 810 Court St., Jackson.

Forest Service staff members will talk about how they developed the draft report and answer questions about the travel analysis process. The draft report will be available for review at the meetings.

The travel analysis process is required by the 2005 Travel Management Rule and requires that forests provide a safe, financially and environmentally sustainable road system that can be realistically maintained. Due to increased use, aging roads and decreased budgets, not all roads in the forest can be maintained to standards for safety and environmental protection, according to a Forest Service news release. The travel analysis process is intended to provide a science-based roads analysis to help identify the minimum road system, officials said.

The Eldorado National Forest, as well as other national forests in the country, is required to complete the travel analysis by Sept. 30 to receive federal funds for its road system.

Through the analysis, forest staff members must determine the risks, benefits and opportunities for every road and identify possible changes or repairs. These would include safety, cost of maintenance, recreational use and environmental effects.

“It is very important that the public understands that I will not be closing roads or adding roads with this process,” Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree said in a written statement. “The travel analysis process does not produce a decision, but rather a set of recommendations for future planning regarding management of the forest’s road system.”

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