This letter was written to Senators regarding the Legacy Roads Remediation Initiative as defined in the House Interior Appropriations bill (HR 2643).
The Forest Service is responsible for managing 380,000 miles of roads nationally. Due to inadequate funding and neglect, many of these roads are deteriorating and causing serious environmental damage. Each year, hundreds of thousands of tons of sediment from these poorly maintained roads run into our nation’s rivers and streams, threatening recreational opportunities, the health of fish populations, and community water supplies.
The Forest Service has a multi-billion dollar backlog in deferred road maintenance. The administration’s budget request for FY 2008 would exacerbate the roads problem by proposing a 31 percent cut in the Forest Service road maintenance and reducing road decommissioning by 307 miles – a 55 percent reduction from FY 2006.
The Roads Initiative would preserve access to our nation’s forests while directing funds to roads that need maintenance and decommissioning unused and unwanted roads.