Keep National Forests Accessible for Recreation

Forest road

Target: Tom Tidwell, Chief of the United States Forest Service

Goal: Move forward with essential road repairs in America’s national forests to keep them sustainable and accessible

America’s national forests continue to face budget crises and road closures. Although road decommissioning helps preserve wildlife habitats and reduces maintenance costs in the long run, it is an incredibly expensive process. Washington’s Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is one of these areas that is currently facing major road closure issues. Fight to keep America’s national forests accessible.

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington state is one of the most visited national forests in the United States. Nestled between the Seattle, the Cascade Mountains, and the Canadian border, roads in this national forest were built to service the temporary transportation needs of the timber harvest and sales industries. These industries no longer use the roads so they no longer maintain them, despite the high demand for this recreational space used by five million people each year.

Not all road repairs are created equal, as paved roads, gravel roads, and bridge passes all have their economic and environmental advantages and disadvantages. Sharp decreases in federal funding has made any type of road maintenance nearly impossible in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest .

While extravagant repairs may be unnecessary, the federal government must ensure that national forests are at least minimally accessible for recreation, tourism, and preservation. Sign the below petition to urge the National Forest Service to work with local environmental and conservation groups to find an agreeable solution.

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Dear Chief Tidwell,

The maintenance of our nation’s national parks and forests is a budgetary and environmental crisis in nearly every state across the country. However, one of the most urgent repair needs exists in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. This beautiful and popular recreation area is at risk of becoming inaccessible for locals and visitors throughout the year.

I am urging you to work with local environmental and engineering groups to devise the most cost effective way of preserving the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for future generations to enjoy.  You must use their expertise to determine whether paved roads, which are costly but require less upkeep, or gravel roads, which are cheaper but will need regular maintenance, is the best option for the forest’s future.

More than five million people visit this national forest each year, which provides citizens with recreational resources and the forest service with tourism profits. The longer we wait to make necessary repairs, the more costly they will be come. Thank you for doing you part to preserve our most beautiful national treasures.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: pfly via Flickr

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97 Signatures

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