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Road Management

Forest and Fish regulations now require landowners to develop a plan for road management that avoids the potential of slope failure and unwanted sedimentation runoff before obtaining harvest permits. Below are some informational links that expand on Road Management and Abandonment Plan (RMAP), and provide resources for implementing such plans.

Forest Road Maintenance Video Set

The Forest Road Maintenance video set was originally produced in 2002 by the USDA Forest Service, Technology and Development Center, San Dimas, California in Cooperation with Federal Highways Administration. The VHS video tapes were converted by the Rural Technology Initiative to digital video and are now available for download or to view over the Internet.
Use the links to the right to view this video; for best results click the link that reflects your Internet connection speed.
Forest Roads and the Environment
(56 kbps, 150 kbps, 340 kbps, 512 kbps, download 270 MB wmv file)

A visually pleasing overview of how the road and environment interact with each other. This introduction to maintenance of low volume roads highlights several issues that benefit from proper maintenance activities, including water temperature, fish habitat and aggregate surfacing loss. (18 minutes)

Use the links to the right to view this video; for best results click the link that reflects your Internet connection speed.
Reading the Traveled Way
(56 kbps, 150 kbps, 340 kbps, 512 kbps, download 246 MB wmv file)

Learn to quickly identify what the road is "saying". This segment focuses on understanding what the condition of the road is and providing insights on how to proactively avoid costly repairs by properly addressing the road in its current condition. (16 minutes)

  • Rutting, Washboarding, Potholes, Cracks
  • Destroyed Road Template
  • Flour
  • Loss of Surfacing
  • Excessive Vegetation
  • Water Bypassing the Surface Cross Drains
  • Damaged or Filled Cattleguards
  • Damage to Bridges
  • Damage to Fords
Use the links to the right to view this video; for best results click the link that reflects your Internet connection speed.
Reading Beyond the Traveled Way
(56 kbps, 150 kbps, 340 kbps, 512 kbps, download 253 MB wmv file)

Properly maintained roads require an understanding of what is happening beyond the road surface. Considering the natural functions before beginning maintenance operations can help minimize significant impacts to the road. (16:30 minutes)

  • Gullies
  • Cracks and Slumps
  • Roadside Ditch
  • Ditch Relief Culverts
  • Live Stream Culverts
  • Brush Removal
Use the links to the right to view this video; for best results click the link that reflects your Internet connection speed.
Smoothing and Reshaping the Traveled Way
(56 kbps, 150 kbps, 340 kbps, 512 kbps, download 266 MB wmv file)

This video covers detailed step by step process used for both smoothing and reshaping a road. (17:30 minutes)

  • Crowned Roads
  • Insloped Roads
  • Outsloped Roads
  • Transition Sections
Use the links to the right to view this video; for best results click the link that reflects your Internet connection speed.
Maintaining the Ditch and Surface Cross Drains
(56 kbps, 150 kbps, 340 kbps, 512 kbps, download 243 MB wmv file)

This provides comprehensive instructions for correctly constructing and maintaining ditches, culverts and various surface cross drains. Highlighted in this video are surface cross drains such as rolling dips, earthen water bars and interceptor dips. (16 minutes)

  • Heeling the Ditch
  • Pulling the Ditch
  • Maintaining Surface Cross Drains
  • Rolling Drain Dips
  • Interceptor Dips
  • Earthen Water Bars
  • Open-Top Drainage Devices

The USDA Forest Service has developed this information for the guidance of it employees, its contractors, and its cooperating Federal and State agencies, and is not responsible for the interpretation or use of this information by anyone except its own employees.

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this video is for the information and convenience of the viewer, and does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of Agriculture for any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.

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Road in the mist

Road Related Publications:

  • "Roads on Small Acreage Forests in Washington" was published in a WSU Cooperative Extension bulletin describing road construction maintenance and regulation issues on small acreage tracts.
  • The USDA Forest Service has made "A Landowner's Guide to Building Forest Access Roads" by Richard L. Wiest, available on-line at their web site. You can also order a FREE printed copy from the same site.
  • The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has produced a manual called "Fish Passage Design at Road Culverts" for the design of permanent new, retrofit, or replacement road crossing culverts. Click here for the pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view this file).

Road Related Software:

  • Pegger: A road layout extension program to provide computerized road pegging is available for download.

  • CulSed: A new decision support tool for cross drain culvert design developed by research assistants and staff at the RTI. A free working product will be available in 2003.
  • For more CulSed information, click here.
Moutain Road

Road Management and Abandonment Plan Research:

  • The nature of the economic impacts from RMAPs and the associated road upgrade costs are different for Eastside landowners compared to the Westside. For information on the economic impacts of RMAP in Eastern Washington, click here. For Western Washington, click here.

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Last Updated 2/2/2012 5:37:24 PM