Quinault Road Management Program
The Quinault Road Management Program believes that roads are an essential part of a well-managed forest. Forest roads on the Quinault Indian Nation connect the most remote parts of the forest to existing communities, county and state roads and highways, providing access to forest lands for timber management, fish and wildlife habitat improvement, fire control, hunting and a variety of recreational activities.
A well-planned access system is a sound method of reducing erosion and sedimentation in areas requiring frequent or temporary access. Proper location and construction of roads will provide for safety, longer operating periods, lower maintenance and operating costs, and minimal impacts to forest resources such as water quality, and fish/wildlife habitat.
Historically, studies have identified forest roads as sources of sediment delivery to streams in Washington’s forests. Roads can deliver sediment for a variety of reasons including past practices, neglected maintenance, natural processes, and catastrophic events. The Quinault Road Management Program implements current forest practices rules which is assumed to minimize runoff water and sediment delivery to typed waters. Research has demonstrated that well designed and properly maintained roads minimize impacts to public resources and at the same time, reduce operating costs.
Guidelines for earth-moving activities, excavation of borrow areas, and practices that cause soil disturbance or erosion can help protect cultural resources, and guidelines for controlling accesses into formerly remote areas can reduce the potential for deliberate vandalism of sensitive sites. Benefits of proper road construction includes:
- Benefits to forest soils
- Benefits to riparian areas
- Benefits to visual quality
- Benefits to water quality and wetlands
- Benefits to wildlife habitat
Quinault Road Management Methods
Change is constant in almost every aspect of this modern world and new and different methods of maintaining gravel roads is no exception. There are new ways of stabilizing roads, new methods of dust control, and different kinds of equipment available for maintenance or rehabilitation of gravel roads.
The Quinault Road Management Program takes advantage of a Global Positioning System (GPS) data collection unit used by the Quinault GIS Mapping Department. This information is then downloaded into a computer and used to accurately draw a map. The GPS points often are used together with a computer program known as a Geographic Information System (GIS). A GIS is a comprehensive tool to produce detailed maps that can incorporate aerial photos, soils data, streams, elevation change, and other land features.
Planning in advance is essential for constructing a safe, reliable, and low-impact access road. The Quinault Road Management Program will inspect the property to become familiar with the land features, recognizing its prospects and its challenges. Overlooking this significant phase can be a costly mistake. The factors considered and decisions made in early planning represent the fundamental building blocks of a good road.
Quinault Road Management Forest Transportation System
Roads, skid trails and landings comprise a forest transportation system. Skid trails are used to get forest products from the woods to a landing, a landing is used to stockpile timber for loading onto logging trucks. Forest roads connect the landings to existing public roads. Forest roads can also provide access needed for improving fish and wildlife habitat, fighting fires, and providing recreation.
Well-planned and well-built forest roads make sense both economically and environmentally. The largest contributor of source pollution from forest management activities is forest roads that are poorly located, constructed and maintained. Roads over steep slopes, erosion prone sites, streams, and wetlands hold the greatest potential for degrading water quality. Road construction may alter the flow of water over and through the ground. Heavy road use may expose soil, making it vulnerable to erosion. Stream crossings can change the hydrology of streams. All of these factors pose risks to water quality, however, water quality impacts can be avoided by properly designing, constructing and maintaining forest roads.
Forestry Manager, Jim Plampin » 360.276.8215 x7290
Roads Manager, Gary LaLonde » 360.276.8215 x7514
GIS Program Manager, Tony Hartrich » 360.276.8215 x7007
Additional Quinault Road Management Resources: