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Ski
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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 9:11 am 
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Wednesday November 1, 2017 09:51 PDT

On Tuesday, November 7th the Hood Canal Ranger District will be hosting public information sessions on its proposal to address the public safety concerns at Falls View Campground so that the site can be reopened.

Falls View Campground is currently closed due to hazards created by the large number of trees infected with root disease. In order to make the campground safe to reopen, infected and highly susceptible trees within the campground are proposed to be cut and removed. Some of the area impacted would be replanted with trees and shrubs that are not susceptible to the root disease. As funding allows, the campground would also be adjusted to enhance user experience and natural features. These adjustments could include installing accessible amenities (e.g., picnic tables, fire rings, improvements to road grade), removing three existing camp sites that are near the highway and creek, and converting the north loop to a group site.

Public opportunities to learn about the project on Nov. 7th are as follows:

2:30 PM to 4:00 PM  Falls View Campground tour and site discussion (Due to limited parking, please meet at the Quilcene Ranger Station to carpool to the campground.)

4:30 PM to 6:00 PM   Drop in Question & Answer at the Hood Canal Ranger Station (295142 Hwy 101, Quilcene, WA 98376)

Interested attendees should email an RSVP to Nicole LaGioia at nllagioia@fs.fed.us by Friday, November 3rd.

Thank you for your interest on the Olympic National Forest.

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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 9:34 am 
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Wednesday November 1 2017 10:34 PDT

Nicole LaGioia
Hood Canal Ranger District
Olympic National Forest

RE: Falls View campground hazard trees

This should be a no-brainer, but for reasons which defy explanation, lands management agencies seem to think that cutting trees down is going to cause the world to stop rotating on its axis.
Why haven’t the trees been cut down yet?
Do we need an EA or an EIS to cut them down?
How many trees are we talking about here? How large are the trees? Douglas Fir, right? Maybe a bit of Western Hemlock?

The alternative is to convert the area to day-use only, as was stupidly done at the July Creek campground on the North Shore Road at Olympic National Park, or Kopachuck State Park near Gig Harbor, or Rockport State Park in Skagit County.

Solution: simple.
Cut the trees down.
Do you need to borrow a saw?

Thank you sincerely for your time and consideration.

=====

note for those reading:

July Creek CG has been day-use only for 15 years (July 8 2002)
Kopachuck SP has been day-use only since 2011
Do not have info on Rockport SP

the issue at all of these areas is root fungus.


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treeswarper
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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 10:24 am 
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On the EA question--if they are cut down by FS workers or hired contractor and the concessionaire cuts them up for firewood to sell, it doesn't disturb the ground  lol.gif so one isn't needed.

If the trees are sold as timber, some dirt might get scraped up and a few pieces enter the nearest waterway causing the extinction of all the salmon in the world, which then kills all the whales thus ending the world, so an EA is needed.

Anytime trees are cut on the NF it is controversial, oops the exception seems to be when trees are cut or knocked over to be used for "fish logs".

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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 11:39 am 
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^ No, actually, I think that the NF Cispus instream project went through NEPA... although I don't think they wrote an EA on that one ( https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=51820 )
But that wasn't a timber harvest project.

I don't know what the details are on this one at Falls View CG.

The one at July Creek is within Olympic National PARK, and the odds of them mowing down a bunch of 5-foot DBH Douglas Firs are about the same as me growing wings and flying tomorrow morning - that just isn't going to happen in our lifetimes.

The one at Kopachuck got tangled up because adjoining property owners (whose homes were built on land that once had trees growing on it) objected to the idea of cutting the trees because it would "ruin their views", and there was apparently some issue with soil stabilization (which no doubt most likely could have been mitigated fairly easily.)

Don't have any idea what the details are at Rockport SP CG.

Per that email announcing the open house, they are apparently planning on removal of "infected and highly susceptible trees", but my understanding (from conversations with silviculturalists and project supervisors at various USFS Ranger Stations) is that the only "solution" to root fungus issues is simply to mow down the whole lot and start over. (Maybe I'm missing something there.)

Essentially, I find it incredibly stupid and short-sighted to close campgrounds (or convert them to day-use only) considering that the demand for overnight campground sites increases each year (along with the population), and some campgrounds have been lost due to events beyond human control (i.e., Sunshine Point CG at MRNP - washed away in a high-water event 11 years ago - November 06-07 2006.)

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treeswarper
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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 2:26 pm 
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You are correct in the treatment for root rot.  Last I heard trees within 50 feet of the last infected one need to come down too.  If the budget permits, some landowners rip out as much of the roots and stumps before  replanting with a resistant species like Western White Pine or Western Red cedar or some hardwoods.   If you plant cedar, you have to contend with deer and elk munching them until they get enough size to not be so tender. 

Unfortunately, I've witnessed a TV news report that consisted mostly of neighbors of a state park claiming it was just a "timber grab".  There wasn't much info on root rot and trees tumbling down on tents and trailers and.....walkers.

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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 3:48 pm 
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Ski wrote:
This should be a no-brainer, but for reasons which defy explanation, lands management agencies seem to think that cutting trees down is going to cause the world to stop rotating on its axis.
Why haven’t the trees been cut down yet?

See

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8025573&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=60

What you bemoan is yet another example of the results of lawfare.
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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 5:41 pm 
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I'm not sure the issue of "hazard trees" (which is what these root-fungus infected trees are called) and timber harvesting can be tossed into the same basket.

In the case of July Creek CG at ONP, I have no idea about why then Superintendent Dave Morris chose to designate the facility day use only. I do know that after walking the entire campground (doing an infrastructure inventory for the Park), I was impressed by the size of the Douglas Firs that stand there - it would be a fairly bleak landscape for a couple decades if they were all cut down.

In the case of Kopachuck SP, apparently adjoining property owners objected to the idea of cutting down the trees because it would "ruin the views" from their homes (which, again, were built on land that was previous forested.) Additionally, because the cutting would have involved more than 10,000 board feet, DNR had to sign off on the project and they apparently found that it might have caused issues with "soil stabilization". Sorry I do not know the particulars on that one - I haven't been to Kopachuck SP since a 4th-grade field trip 50+ years ago.

Per the announcement from the Hood Canal RD this morning, this is all in the preliminary stages at the moment:

Olympic National Forest, Hood Canal RD wrote:
In order to make the campground safe to reopen, infected and highly susceptible trees within the campground are proposed to be cut and removed.

Being this early in the game, it's probably a bit premature to speculate about litigation (or the impending threat of litigation.)

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treeswarper
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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 6:10 pm 
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Hazard tree Timber sales used to happen.  In these parts, Iron Cr. and North Fork campgrounds were logged more than once.  Bids were taken and the FS was paid for the timber.  Some big wood came out of Iron Cr.  Some big trees came out of both.  I can't find my picture right now of the 2 small bunk logs and a big log on a log truck that came out of Iron Cr. Campground.

Fast forward to now.  Having a timber sale would alert the usual suspects and get tied up.  For some reason, selling logs for firewood does not bother the same people.  So, a contractor or FS employee is paid to cut down the hazard trees and they are either sold to a firewood processor or left for the concession people to cut up and sell in the campground.  Firewood sales do not bring in as much revenue as a regular timber sale.

In either case, pains are taken (in the form of contract specs.) to protect the campground improvements.  One logger who did both Iron Cr and North Fork took pride in making it look good, although in Iron Cr, which has a cloverleaf pattern, his guys brought out go-carts and were racing behind the locked gates and having fun.

I think the corner of a tent pad was smashed but the logger repaired it.  The world was safe.

Found the picture.

04-13-2009 05;28;37PM
04-13-2009 05;28;37PM

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PostWed Nov 01, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Back to Falls. It’s kind of a dark campground anyway. I’d like to see the campground stay open.

I remember going to an evening talk at Colonial Creek Campground, NCNP with The Kids. The person giving the talk had the distinction of being the last employee in the park who’d come over from the USFS when that park was created. Big fellow, near Bull of the Woods. He talked logging, big trees in the Skagit, demonstrated a froe, put my spouse and I on a crosscut.

One person asked if he meant they’d cut trees right in the campground. He said ‘I’ve personally cut hundreds right in the campground.’ I gaped. I guess they hadn’t seen any stumps between their campsite and the talk. I wondered if they saw any one the way back. Colonial is a big campground.

Once you build a campground in a forested area you’ve already decided you are going to cut trees over the decades. It’s a done deal.
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 4:50 am 
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My insurance agent was on the cover of Madsen's catalog. It showed him sawing on a very large tree.  It was in a campground.  He is one of the contract fallers who gets called to fall the difficult hazard trees.   Every spring campgrounds are surveyed for hazard trees.  Every spring a few trees are cut down.

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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 10:19 am 
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Ski wrote:
The alternative is to convert the area to day-use only, as was stupidly done at the July Creek campground on the North Shore Road at Olympic National Park, or Kopachuck State Park near Gig Harbor, or Rockport State Park in Skagit County.

South Whidbey State Park Campground is now day use only.  There are so many trees affected that it would be a clearcut if they took them down.
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 10:49 am 
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^ Yeah.. that's what it takes to deal with root fungus problems: clearcutting the entire mess (and then going out another 50 feet from the outermost infected tree, as treeswarper mentioned above.)

Campgrounds get a lot of foot traffic. People walk all around. They walk under the trees. Their walking eventually packs down the soil around the trees.
Root fungus issues are exacerbated when there are issues with soil compaction.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to figure out that if you trample down all the dirt around a bunch of Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock, you are inviting root fungus issues.
Taken to its logical and inevitable end, this policy practice of converting overnight campgrounds to day use only because of root fungus problems will result in zero overnight campgrounds in Western Washington at some point in the future.

Bad policy.

So... with the facility at Whidbey, that makes five campgrounds, right? Know of any others?

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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 1:35 pm 
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Are grand and noble prone to root rot too?

Is western red the most favored for replanting in an area with established root rot?


Best.
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 4:25 pm 
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Ski wrote:
In the case of July Creek CG at ONP, I have no idea about why then Superintendent Dave Morris chose to designate the facility day use only. I do know that after walking the entire campground (doing an infrastructure inventory for the Park), I was impressed by the size of the Douglas Firs that stand there - it would be a fairly bleak landscape for a couple decades if they were all cut down.

The trees were a good size back in the 60's when the family camped there. Good times. A lot of time my younger brother and I spent on inner tubes floating the lake bank.

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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 4:31 pm 
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Even campgrounds in Capitol State Forest have not been immune to the problem. Mima Campground saw most all the big trees get cut. DNR eventually closed it and converted to a trailhead parking lot for other reasons that I'll not go into here.

Margaret McKenny CG also had trees cut but not to the extent of Mima (Mima was a much smaller camp). For some reason other campgrounds have not had the problem those two have had.

Not sure it's all a soil compaction issue though. Perhaps in some locations it could be.

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