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Chico
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 5:34 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
his guys brought out go-carts and were racing behind the locked gates and having fun.

Love it!

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treeswarper
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 6:01 pm 
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All about laminated root rot.  Pictures too.
Root rot

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Ski
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 7:18 pm 
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^ Thank you. Great overview.

So if I am understanding that paper correctly, they could:
- push over the infected trees and drag them off, possibly for use in some in-stream restoration project (since they have some rootwad still attached.)
- replant the area with a mix of Red Alder (Alnus rubra) and Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) and maybe a bit of fast-growing and colorful Vine Maple (Acer circinatum.)
- in less than five years they'd have canopy at a height of about 20 feet, in ten years about 30 feet.

They'd of course have to put cages around the cedar to keep the deer from nipping them off, but other than that, am I missing something there?

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treeswarper
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Yup.   I do not think White Pine is suited for that area, but I may be wrong.
There is also a size limit to what can be safely pushed over.

Here is the tubing used to protect seedlings from the evil deer and elk.  A bamboo stick is woven through it and is stuck in the ground to hold it in place.  Assembling them makes hands sore after a while. frown.gif

Tubing

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Ski
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PostThu Nov 02, 2017 8:48 pm 
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^ Something tells me that wouldn't be adequate in a campground. I'd think more appropriate might be something along the line of a 3-foot diameter circular cage made of 4" x 4" wire stock fencing, held in place with 3 equally-spaced 6-foot steel fence posts - like the neighbors used at Nisqually Pines to keep the herd of resident deer from eating the cedars they planted at the foot of their driveway.

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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 5:49 am 
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Yup.  There's human varmints in campgrounds.

Some friends are slowly converting part of a hay field back to forest.  The elk graze in the hay field and lay down nearby and smash the tubed cedar seedlings.  They also have ripped off some tubes and munched the elk candy.

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RodF
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 10:43 am 
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Ski wrote:
Why haven’t the trees been cut down yet?
Do we need an EA or an EIS to cut them down?

No, this project is listed on the current Schedule of Proposed Actions as CE (Categorical Exclusion), not an EA or EIS.

Hazard trees infected by root rot have been removed, one by one, over the past several years.  Apparently, the infestation has spread, forcing the campground to be closed as unsafe, and the only effective treatment is to clearcut it.

This will definitely upset some people (particularly in Jefferson County, which is very sensitive to any logging), who will accuse the forest service of destroying a beautiful campground for nefarious profit for something, so they are being very transparent and hosting an open house to explain why this is necessary.

Unfortunately, this open house is apparently upsetting you, as you're criticizing them for even holding it.

Alas, USFS often finds itself in such Catch-22 situations.

treeswarper wrote:
I do not think White Pine is suited for that area, but I may be wrong.
There is also a size limit to what can be safely pushed over.

Correct on both counts.  Alas, even white pine bred for resistance succumb to blister rust at about 30 years age in this area.  Trees in the campground are, as I recall, primarily Doug fir >3 feet DBH and up to ~100 ft tall.  The space to fell them between campsites is limited.

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MyFootHurts
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 10:48 am 
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What's the deal with that other campground along 101 by Mt Walker? Its always closed and gated when I drive by.
I walked through there once years ago to get to a short trail that was in one of the guide books.
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Ski
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 10:55 am 
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RodF wrote:
Unfortunately, this open house is apparently upsetting you, as you're criticizing them for even holding it.

You've completely misunderstood what I've said Rod.
I'm not criticizing them for holding the open house.
I am criticizing what looks to me like what's become practice and policy at both the State and Federal level when it comes to dealing with this particular issue: closing overnight campgrounds or converting them to "day use only" because of "hazard trees" that are infected with root fungus.

As I've pointed out, followed to its logical and inevitable conclusion, at some point in the future, if this practice of closing or converting campgrounds to "day use only" continues, we won't have any overnight campgrounds in Western Washington - or there will be damn few left.

Instead of closing July Creek to overnight use, they could have gone in there, mowed down the entire stand, replanted with Red Alder, Vine Maple, and Western Red Cedar, and they'd have a greened-up overnight campground there today.
No, it wouldn't be as fabulous as it is/was with all those huge Douglas Firs, but it would be a usable overnight campground.

We need more recreational opportunities, not less. This practice has to stop. At Kopachuck SP it was a "NIMBY" issue - people who most likely would never have used the campground, and were all in a tizzy about their "views".

I'm seeing short-term management decisions having negative effects over the long term.
To hell with what the next-door neighbors want today - we need to do what is necessary so those campgrounds are available in the future.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RodF
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 11:12 am 
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MyFootHurts wrote:
What's the deal with that other campground along 101 by Mt Walker? Its always closed and gated when I drive by.

Rainbow Campground was closed years ago.  I always regretted that because it's historic (built by CCC).  But it's much smaller than nearby Falls CG, there's no space to expand it, demand for campsites exceeds its capacity which is why Falls CG was built, couldn't be kept open without subsidy and there's no budget for that, and I don't believe it has any drinking water system.

ski wrote:
I am criticizing what looks to me like what's become practice and policy at both the State and Federal level when it comes to dealing with this particular issue: closing overnight campgrounds or converting them to "day use only" because of "hazard trees" that are infected with root fungus.

You do realize (1) if a dying tree falls on anyone, they'll be sued (successfully), and (2) the entire purpose of this project is to REOPEN this campground.  They are proposing to do precisely what you're ranting at them to do.

p.s. I agree, NPS should've done the same at July Creek CG.

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treeswarper
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 11:23 am 
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RodF wrote:
Trees in the campground are, as I recall, primarily Doug fir >3 feet DBH and up to ~100 ft tall.  The space to fell them between campsites is limited.


This is doable if you've got any good timber fallers left around.  In fact, some of them like the  challenge if they are paid well for it.  We had a couple of bets about trees hitting pit toilets.  We'd bet, I'd measure the tree height, then we'd measure the distance to the toilet and the faller would find another lay for the tree.  It ought to be a bit easier in a clearcut situation.

I do know that even back in 1987, the logger hired two old guys who had good reputations and  they lived up to that reputation by only nicking the corner of a tent pad with a tree.  We're talking the same sized trees as you are--2 to 9 feet in diameter and greater than 100 feet tall.

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RodF
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 11:36 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
This is doable if you've got any good timber fallers left around.

Agree, and they do.  Olympic NF fire crew leader Jeff Neil felled several diseased trees in Falls CG very neatly onto the CG loop road.  We then went in and used them to certify volunteer trail crew for bucking.

But I was agreeing with your comment that pushing them over is not as accurate as felling, so would likely smash campsites, lavatories and water spigots.  Also some trees can't be felled without knocking down others or first opening a space into which to fell them, as you'd know far better than I.  It's really tight in there.

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Ski
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 11:45 am 
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Quote:
You do realize (1) if a dying tree falls on anyone, they'll be sued (successfully), and (2) the entire purpose of this project is to REOPEN this campground.  They are proposing to do precisely what you're ranting at them to do.

I am more than fully aware of the liability issue - I've talked at length with people up at ONP about that one.

Yeah, I'm ranting because I think this should be a no-brainer - the State Parks system shouldn't have to go plead with the neighbors asking for permission to do what needs to be done - they just need to go DO it, with no consultation, deliberation, discussion, debate, or anything else that makes the process take longer. Just fire up the saw and go at it.

You just don't like my eloquent and diplomatic approach. wink.gif

(* Bear in mind, Rod, I'm not talking about just this particular campground - look at how many campgrounds where this has happened in the last decade. I think it's time to make some noise about it. This "close and convert to day-use only" jazz has to stop. )

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Token Civilian
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 12:13 pm 
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Ski - when I pointed out the lawfare aspects of this, you and the other commenters have more or less validated where I'm coming from.

As you said, and I completely agree with you Ski, this SHOULD be a no-brainer.

For all, lets review:  Campground not safe due to root rot in the beautiful, big, old trees.  Only remedy to root rot is to cut out the entire existing stand.  Alternative, could make campground day use only, but that defeats the purpose of a campground.  Only remedy to continue to have campground is to cut existing trees and replant.  Therefore, cut and replant is the solution to keeping campground open.  How can I (land manager) do this at the lowest cost to the taxpayer?  Sell timber to highest bidder, impose conditions that they must protect and / or restore campground facilities to current state or better at end of cutting / hauling operation (winner of the bid must post suitable bond to that effect).

This is how sensible land managers should think and act, and it shouldn't take them weeks / months / years to get to this point.

BUT since it smacks of "clear cutting a campground for profit" in the eyes of the lunatic fringe that sees cutting ANY tree for ANY reason to be bad.....bad, the USFS / NPS and the rest are gun shy about being sued.  Said land managers have been on the wrong end of suits previously - they see the "lawfare fleet in being off in that enemy harbor" waiting to pounce unless they institute expensive and time consuming procedures to mitigate that risk (the meetings, etc).

If they are sued, campground will be closed in the meantime, defeating purpose of cutting the hazard trees (to keep campground open), budget will be drained defending the suit.  A break even or even small profit to the taxpayer (which could be plowed back into better facilities in the district) will be used up by lawyers, resulting in a net lower level of service / facilities in the district.
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RodF
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 12:29 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Yeah, I'm ranting because I think this should be a no-brainer

I thought the Jackson Thinning project was a no-brainer.  I thought the Humptulips Thinning project was a no-brainer.  I thought the Navy EW permit was a no-brainer.   Heck, I am so naive I even thought fluoridation, vaccination and reopening the Dose Road were no-brainers. 

After each of these got dragged out into years of controversy, hundreds and even thousands of public comments and petition signatures, and threats of and sometimes actual lawsuits, it became apparent neither you nor I have any idea what's a no-brainer.

Please review the history of what Connie Gallant and Olympic Forest Coalition believe are no-brainers before ranting at the USFS for trying its best in good faith to avoid inadvertently triggering yet another baseless controversy.

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