Forest Service Road improvement could block access on the West Fork Humptulips River

The National Forest Service plans to block vehicle access to a popular gravel bar on the West Fork of the Humptulips River through proposed improvements to Forest Service Road 2203040 that include a turnaround and parking lot. State Representative Brian Blake is opposed to some of those changes, he tells KBKW “There’s a small rivulet that has been diverted and now runs down the access road to the gravel bar, and they’re using it as an excuse to cut off access, and that’s what I’m opposed to.” The $12,000 Forest Service grant application says they need to block the access to restore fish habitat for salmon and trout apparently seen in the mud puddle for the past three years. “Oh no I’ve never seen salmon there in my life, no. Why would they do that?” I spoke with Jerry Lillybridge in front of his 24 foot camper responsibly parked on the gravel bar Sunday. He said he and his family have camped there for years, and while he hasn’t run over any fish that he can recall “Here’s what I’ve seen in the last three days, the otters, we’ve seen the ducks, yesterday I was up here getting firewood and I saw a red hawk take a grouse out and I’ve never seen nothing like that in my life, right in front of us.” Lillybridge worked in the Grays Harbor County Auditor’s office for years, and for years he passed State parks, camp sites, and groomed fishing outlets on his way out here. “You can’t go nowhere and enjoy this without a big fee, or having a lot of people around you. I’m 41 miles from my house in Aberdeen to right here, and look at this – this is remote. There’s nothing more beautiful than here,” adding that most campers clean up after themselves, but; “If they don’t and most of them always leave it clean, I clean it up anyway because I don’t want the Forest Service to ever shut something down because I was messy.” Meanwhile Blake worries “When we loose that gravel bar, and they won’t commit to preserving access to the downstream gravel bar – and I believe personally that’s critical for the launching of the drift boats especially because they can be anywhere from 300 to 600 pounds. So I think it’s important that we preserve that public access, for those boats, to the public river.” Blake added that “Not everybody can afford a forest pass, not everybody can afford a travel trailer. But having the public be able to pull out there and have a picnic, or spend the night in the summertime, I think is one of the reasons we live here. While it won’t be specifically addressed at these meetings, the public has a few more chances to provide their input on a sustainable roads plan for the Forest Service this month.  The next meeting starts at 4 this afternoon in the Shelton Civic Center. They’ll be at the Aberdeen Rotary Log Pavilion Thursday afternoon.

Man steals flashlight from fire truck at fireman’s funeral, “Not too bright” says Police Chief

A Hoquiam man stole a flashlight out of a fire truck over the weekend, during funeral services for a Fire District 16 firefighter. The convicted felon is well

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Hoquiam driver killed in log truck rollover accident

HOQUIAM, Wash. – A Hoquiam truck driver died yesterday after his fully loaded truck and trailer drove off of a Forest Service road in the Capitol Forest near Summit Lake.  Washington

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Search and Rescue Teams Search for Missing Man in Packwood

PACKWOOD, Wash. - Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and several Search and Rescue teams are searching for a missing 68 year-old Auburn man. The man left Saturday from his residence in Auburn to pick mushrooms. The Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from the family on Sunday saying he had not returned. The family was unsure where the man was headed and said he could be anywhere between I-90 and Packwood. An attempt to locate was put out for the man, with no success.

Late yesterday afternoon, the vehicle the missing man left in was found on Forest Service Road 4715, approximately five miles northwest of Packwood.

Search and Rescue teams searched for the man for six hours last night. They resumed their search at 0600 hours this morning. Teams from King, Mason, Grays Harbor, and Pacific County assisted Lewis County teams. The teams included ground, 4x4, and K-9 teams. Over 25 members are involved.

Bridge inspections begin on Olympic National Forest

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Engineers from Olympic National Forest will conduct bridge inspections this week through September 12. By law, bridge inspections are required every two years to ensure that the bridges within Olympic National Forest are compliant with National Bridge Inspection Standards. These safety checks are expected to cause delays of up to 60 minutes.

An Under Bridge Inspection Truck will be used to complete the inspections. This specialized piece of equipment has a very long arm that extends under the bridge from the bridge deck. The inspection truck blocks access entirely while the inspection is in progress. The following bridges will be inspected:

  • Lower Canyon River Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2368 
  • Humptulips Gorge Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2204 
  • Middle Matheny Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2160080 
  • South Fork Calawah Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2932000 
  • Sitkum Gorge Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2900070 
  • South Fork Soleduck Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2918000 
  • Dungeness Forks Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2880000 
  • Church Creek Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2361000 
  • South Fork Skokomish Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2353000 
  • Skokomish Gorge Bridge, also known as the High Steel Bridge, on Forest Service Road 2340000

Olympic National Forest Announces Upcoming Road Closures

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Olympic National Forest Supervisor Dale Hom announced today that several projects designed to improve roadway conditions and restore aquatic species habitat will begin in the near future. To ensure public safety as well as the safety of contract personnel while these projects are underway, it will be necessary to implement four separate road closures. The following closures may be extended depending on weather conditions and contractor progress.


Closures on the Pacific Ranger District (west side of the Olympic Peninsula):

North of Lake Quinault and off of FS Road 21 (Boundary Road)
A culvert replacement will occur on FS Road 2160 at milepost 2.4. FS Road 2160 will be closed just before mile post 2.4, from July 15 through August 31.
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

Public Comment Period Ending on Rainbow Creek Stream Crossing

A project intended to address conditions at the Rainbow Creek stream crossing of Forest Service Road 2203 at Milepost 1.6 proposes the replacement of an existing culvert and fish ladder and establish a road stream crossing structure that would provide for aquatic organism passage.

A letter signed by District Ranger Dean Millett states that while the previous comments were taken into consideration, Millett is withdrawing the previous decision because it would result in the loss of a public access point on the river.

To submit your comments on the project, and for more information, contact;

Dean R Millett
Pacific District Ranger
437 Tillicum Lane
Forks, WA
98331
comments-pacificnorthwest-olympic-pacific@fs.fed.us