Making RMAPs Work For Family Forests and Fish
by Pat McElroy Washington State Forester
(This was distributed to newspapers statewide today.)
5/25/02 - As Washington's State Forester, I am dedicated to keeping
across the state productive and ensure that they continue to be an
part of our economy and heritage.
Recently, many small forest landowners and others have expressed
about the road maintenance and abandonment plans (RMAPs) which are a
the new Forest & Fish rules, adopted two years ago.
At the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), our first priority is to
with landowners to make clear how the rules impact them, and to listen
their concerns and suggestions. We are already working with the
government and state legislators to see that the rules meet the goals
creating clean water and fish habitat, while keeping family forestry
Currently, there are some misconceptions about the rules. First,
rules cover only forest roads in forestland. Agricultural roads
through non-forested areas are not impacted. Many may find that
their property are not impacted by these rules.
Some road plans will require assistance from engineers or biologists,
for many family forest owners, the plan will take a matter of minutes.
Plans that require more significant work are the road networks that
travel along streams. We are working to find ways to ease that burden,
are compiling a wide range of ideas for discussion this summer.
Finally, while some roads need to be improved, the standards vary.
roads have to meet the most restrictive standards. Roads are
we encourage those with concerns to contact their local DNR office to
receive help to determine what standards are appropriate.
Providing clean water and good habitat for fish is an important goal
new Forest & Fish rules. We don't believe, however, that the
rules must pit
family foresters against healthy streams.
During the next few months we will continue to work with legislators,
forest landowners, the federal government and others on this issue.
have questions or need more information, contact your regional DNR
visit our web page at www.wa.gov/dnr.
As State Forester, my pledge is to work with everyone to find the best
solution for family foresters and for clean water.