Colonel Bob Wilderness


  Colonel Bob Wilderness Trail - Closed and impassible for almost 5 years. Cluttered with over a mile of mature blown down trees and uprooted landscapes. Regulations have prevented any removal of timber or trail repair. With the weight of these stacked giants, hillside erosion is imminent and will only get worse. Many of the grand stands of our old growth forests are approaching the end of their life span. Strong winds and heavy rains unfortunately can cause devastating affects on these natural landscapes. Leaving these areas un-maintained is harmful to the environment, our watersheds and wildlife. Millions in board feet of our states most valuable un-logged resources are lost due to laws that prohibit its removal. Replanting is also prohibited. These resources are to rot in our forests and after many decades hopefully reseed itself.
  Wilderness is no solution for maintaining a healthy living-forest.

    Colonel Bobs 11,961 acres was added by the wilderness act in 1984 when they grabbed this area for the spotted owl controversy. Locals at that time were promised jobs maintaining our trails, campgrounds and existing access roads etc. No jobs materialized.

Locals Work Hard Reopening A Blocked Access Trail

Local trail maintanance

Todd, Doug and Andy Removing Blowdowns 

Clearing Blowdows for Open Trail Access

USFS now outsources only basic minimal small trail repair to Volunteer Youth Groups.
Many hiking trails into the wilderness areas, like the one above, currently remain closed or in bad need of repair.
Below is a testimonial from hiking advocate Doug Lisherness of Quinault.
Here in the South-West corner of the Olympic Park we have lost quite a few trails. I have been on bits and pieces of most of these trails. What happened? Maybe some of the old timers can shed some light on their demise.
Pyrites creek trail, Rustler creek trail, Promised creek trail, Howe creek trail, Litchy creek trail, Tshletshy creek trail. I’m sure there are more, thanks to Olympic National Park.  Col Bob Trail closed for almost five years. Wilderness in action...Had we only realized the true effects of the act then and what is possibly coming down the road".

Below is  one of many sections of the blowndown timber littering the south Quinault Ridge

Colonel Bob Blowdown Timber
Once Labeled Wilderness: No Clean-Up and No Replanting is Allowed.
Our resources are wasted and should be allowed to be saved.
Wilderness is no answer for maintaining a healthy living forest

 We were told tourism would  serve our economy well with Colonel Bob being the major attraction in Quinault.
   Reaching to the heights of this breath taking journey above the clouds, is something everyone should be able to experience. Maintainence is important! It should be a MAIN priority in the Quinault area. Visitors and locals alike are awed by its beauty. ACCESS DENIED recieves no welcome from either!
   There was no promise that this trail would be repaired anytime in the near futureover that 5 year period.
  With a “no chainsaws in the wilderness” law, the feat was impossible. No permit was issued for the temporary use of power saws to get the job done.  DENIED!

  Once again, in July 2011, the forest service brought in some out of the area volunteer crosscut saw enthusiasts and gave them the go ahead to cut through the trail. They worked hard and looked like they were having a great time doing it. According to Washington Trail Association website,  just the crosscut saws getting stuck and time freeing them greatly limited the progress they had planned on making. The group finally admitted that they might never get through the masses.  Forest Service with a quick response, went through the efforts to get a temporary chainsaw permit issued, so the crosscut sawyers could continue up the trail and actually make some progress with chainsaws.
Would forest service get a permit and hire the jobless from our local community? who were promised these paid jobs as they became available? NO! Another free-bee for the forest service and broken promise to the local workforce by the federal government.

  The evironmental party was scheduled to continue work with chainsaws in Aug and Sept 2011 and didn’t expect to have the trail open for another year or more. WOW!
A Congress that wouldn't listen when a paying job was mentioned.
Sound Familiar???????