Washington has 22,000 miles of national forest roads. It also has Congressman Norm Dicks, chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommitee in the House. Anderson says Dicks was instrumental in getting the funding increase, which will benefit more than fish and wildlife.
"At the same time, it’s also a real economic boon, because this money is going to translate into jobs for rural communities – probably hundreds of jobs."
Anderson says the crumbling road system is a problem that has taken years to create and will require a long-term commitment and funding to fix.
Two state agencies and about 15 conservation groups have formed a coalition, the Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative, to improve watersheds in the Northwest; they’ll be keeping an eye on the progress. The new slate of maintenance and reclamation projects, called "Legacy Roads & Trails Remediation," should get underway by this summer.