Wyden Statement on the Forest Service’s Decision to Withdraw Plans to Close Roads in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
Portland, Or - Oregon Senator Ron Wyden issued the following statement on today’s decision by the Forest Service to withdraw its plans to close roads in the Wallowa-Whiteman National Forest.
“Today’s decision by the Forest Service recognizes the importance of rural Oregonians and demonstrates that their voices have been heard. As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, it became very clear to me during meetings last week in the communities that surround the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest that the government’s handling of road closures left many residents of Wallowa, Union, Baker and Malheur counties feeling that they had not been treated fairly and that their way of life was being jeopardized.
“I commend the Forest Service and Wallowa Whitman Forest Supervisor Monica Schwalbach for making the difficult call to withdraw its travel management decision, stop the appeals process, and take much-needed additional time to consider the concerns raised by local residents.
“I believe the Forest Service’s decision is a giant step toward restoring confidence in the planning process by taking into account the hundreds of hours that elected officials, citizen advisory groups, industry and recreation representatives and others have devoted to making sure that there is a balanced approach to how the federal government manages this forest.”