Monday, September 10, 2012

Road Abandonment

Large water bars cut into abandoned road
Under Washington State Forest Practice rules, inactive logging roads are required to be closed and properly abandoned. Abandonment is to avoid road caused landslides years after the road is no longer in use. Old legacy logging roads have been a huge source of sediment to streams and have greatly increased the frequency and magnitude of landslides and debris flows. Timber land owners have been working for well over a decade to properly abandon thousands of miles of old roads. The deadline for completing the work has been extended as progress has been challenging for the industry.
The goal is to make sure drainage is managed so that water doesn't end up where it could cause a problem. Hence, large water bars are put in place to prevent water from becoming concentrated and culverts that might become plugged over time are removed.
This particular road is not an old road. It was constructed 5 or 6 years ago, but is now no longer needed as the timber harvests that it was used to access have been completed and it is in the process of being put to bed until the next harvest cycle. During its operation three debris flows were triggered by drainage problems from the road and severe erosion was caused by intercepted surface water and captured perched ground water.  
Removed stream culvert

Removed stream culvert and filled ditch to prevent water from flowing along road side to a hazardous location.

View of a spur road that had been abandoned two years ago and was now grass covered

One of September's field hazards

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