Wallowa-Whitman forest takes a break from tough road closure decisions

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ONTARIO, Oregon — The U.S. Forest Service is taking a break from tough decisions over closing roads and trails on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeastern Oregon while it focuses on broader planning issues.

The Argus Observer (http://bit.ly/1GUlvpR ) reports Regional Forester Jim Pena has directed his staff to finish gathering information on the condition of forest roads and trails and keep taking public input, but to wait to propose which ones to close until after finishing a 20-year revision of overall planning documents.

National forests around the country have faced strong pushback from the public over decisions to close roads and trails, whether for lack of money to maintain them, to prevent erosion, or to protect wildlife.

The Wallowa-Whitman is on its fourth forest supervisor since the roads controversy erupted three years ago.

Information from: Argus Observer, http://www.argusobserver.com

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