Spring in here and while the winter weather has pretty much come and gone, its left behind no shortage of damaged roads and trails across the LP. While the Forest Service, trail-related organizations and individual volunteers are working as hard as we can to repair the destruction, we’re hearing more and more about larger scale show-stopper slides and washouts that are making travel along these forest roads and trails impossible. Many of these show-stoppers are beyond the scope of what volunteers can do and the Forest Service is looking into the potential of getting some emergency funding for damaged roads/trails through a program called ERFO (Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads). ERFO funds are very specific and can only be applied to severely damaged sections of maintenance level 3-5 public access roads or trails with engineered surfaces and/or trails listed on the National Trails System Act of 1968. Also, the damage must have been caused by this winters storms. We can’t count on ERFO to fix all the problems we’re finding across the forest but perhaps ERFO can solve a couple of the more major problems. And that is where we come in…..
The Forest Service has asked for the public’s assistance in helping to survey and locate any sections of roads and/or trails that might qualify for ERFO funds. Here’s what we can do:
- If you are out exploring the forest and come across any large sections of severe damage (gully washer blowouts, large slides, complete sections of tread wiped out, etc….) take a picture of that damage and record the coordinates of where the damage is (GPS preferred). It would also be helpful If you can take any kind of measurements as well.
- The FS is looking for information on ALL FOREST ADMINISTERED ROADS as well as ALL FOREST SERVICE SYSTEM TRAILS.
- In order to help, we created a GoogleDoc that lists the LP trails that are included in the National Trails System Act of 1968. You can see that list here. While other trails can also be included in ERFO, chances are that any funds will be applied to trails from this list. You’ll notice that there are a good mix of wilderness trails, OHV trails and general forest trails.
- After taking photos, measurements and coordinates of the damaged sections of trail, send that information to your local LP District trails person or send it to us and we’ll help push that information to the right person (INFO@LPForest.org).
- After reviewing the details, the Forest Service will determine if that section of trail/road qualifies for ERFO submission and then hopefully submit a request for emergency ERFO funding.
- Fast forward a few months and maybe some of these major show stoppers we’re seeing will be fixed! That would be great and we can directly help in the process by surveying the hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails that might have been damaged this past winter.
Thanks in advance for any survey help you can provide! Let us know if you have any questions and we’ll see if we can get you an answer or if not then point you towards someone who can.