Federal Interests Should Receive More Consideration under the Forest Highway Program

CED-77-130: Published: Oct 13, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 13, 1977.

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The Forest Highway Program, as currently administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) and the Forest Service, is not meeting the Forest Service's needs for managing the national forest resources.

Forest highways total about 22,000 miles and are of special federal interest because they link the national forests to the federal-aid highway system. Congress, in establishing the Forest Highway Program, expressed a special interest in providing access to government-owned national resources, as well as for the benefits of communities in or near national forest boundaries. Incremental administrative and legislative changes in the Forest Highway Program between 1970 and 1977 have changed the program's focus from federal control to state control and have lessened the Forest Service's input. As a result, forest highway funds were devoted to roads of primary importance to the states and had little or no relation to national forest transportation needs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of Agriculture and Transportation should direct FHwA and the Forest Service to jointly develop and issue specific criteria for selecting projects meriting forest highway funding and should jointly develop proposed legislation to permit those forest roads that were formerly considered forest highways to be eligible for funding under the forest highway program.

    Agency Affected:


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