JOHN DAY - How best to manage and maintain the main road system of the Malheur National Forest will be the topic of public meetings on Saturday, Sept. 21, announced Roger Williams, acting Malheur National Forest supervisor.

The product of this effort will be a new road system analysis for the national forest.

"We want to make the best use of our limited road maintenance funds, and put our efforts into places where it is most needed." Williams said. "We have a lot of information in our road system inventory, but what we don't know is the public's priorities and future desires for their road system."

Two open house meetings have been scheduled to solicit this help.

The meetings will be will be on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9-11 a.m. at the Malheur National Forest Supervisor's Office, 431 Patterson Bridge Road in John Day and and from 2-4 p.m. at the Burns Senior Center, 17 South Alder St.

It would cost about $4 million a year to maintain to standard forest roads that are managed for passenger car use, the agency announced.

This year, Malheur National Forest received approximately $300,000 for the maintenance of these roads.

Once completed, the road system analysis will ensure that the national forest transportation system meets current and future management objectives, including public safety, resource needs and sustainability.

The analysis will not result in road closures, but the information assembled from the effort will assist district rangers in making site-specific management decisions.

People are encouraged to provide input on social, economic, and environmental issues relating to roads in the analysis area, as well as specific information on historical road use, use patterns, primary destinations, and the types of uses they believe are appropriate.

Written input will be accepted through Sept. 27 and should be sent to Malheur National Forest, P.O. 909, John Day, OR 97845, ATTN: Mark Lysne, Project Team Leader.

For more information about the meetings or roads analysis, contact Jennifer Harris at 575-3008 or Pattie Paul at 575-3144.

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