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altasnob
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altasnob
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PostMon Sep 05, 2022 8:57 am 
Ski wrote:
Cut the trees down, plant new trees. In 20 years, you’ll have a lovely lush green campground again
I agree. Our government, whether state or federal, needs to figure it out. Closing campgrounds permanently is unacceptable unless there is absolutely no option. We aren't growing more campgrounds and as Ski says, our existing campgrounds as at full capacity. Cut the trees, or make people camping there sign liability waivers stating that they will likely die if they camp there. Then the person can decide for themselves if it is too risky to camp in a forest, or that they are willing to assume the risk. Think of all the hundreds of designated hiker campgrounds in Rainier and Oly park. Does the park service inspect and remove sick trees around all of these camp spots? What about when you are traveling off trail? Like Ski says, life involves risks. Let people decide how risky of a life they want to live. Reminds me of the tragedy in 2012 where two people died driving on Stevens Pass because a tree heavy with the weight of new snow fell on a car. The state had to pay the survivors $10 million for that.* Seems the government is so afraid of liability they might as well close every campground in the state that has trees. Close all roads in the state whenever it is windy, or snows a lot, or hasn't rained in a month (another time when trees are likely to fall). Just make sure we all stay in our houses and never go outside. That's the only way the state can be positive that a tree won't fall and kill someone. *Quote from that article: "Worse yet, the survivor's attorney said, was the state transportation department’s decision to open Highway 2 just hours after the Owens’ crash was cleared." In other words, if this attorney had their way, mountain roads would constantly be closed in Washington anytime it snows a lot. Close all the ski areas and close all the roads to keep us safe says the plaintiff's attorney.

thunderhead, Chief Joseph
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treeswarper
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PostMon Sep 05, 2022 10:24 am 
Closing the campground is the easy way. You all should know by now the litigation that takes place, and the cost in time and money for that, in order to cut trees in a controversial area. Root rot requires almost a clear cut to take place, depending on the tree species int he campground. Such a thing is abhorrent to many very vocal people and groups who know how to delay or stop such a project. Doesn't matter if the campground is closed to camping to them, they are saving the last of the last of the "ancient" old growth and consider it to be just another "extraction". You, altasnob use that term. It has become a common term used to stop the cutting of trees. Any major project in a popular area, and it would be major for the campground, will be litigated to death. It's like Covid. Everybody with internet access is an expert and foresters are not to be trusted. Just showing the way too common side of things. That is why campgrounds have been closed to camping with nothing done. There are exceptions. The Forest Service has been pretty proactive with what I call hazard treeing campgrounds. Most campgrounds get a walk through before opening in the spring, and any problems are taken care of prior to opening. The Loup Loup campground was a project and commercially logged last year. It is open now. Looks good. Plus the surrounding area was logged with trees thinned out and it also looks good. So, there are exceptions but this example is in a not very heavily used area and has no righteous neighbors. I keep thinking about the TV interview with an older couple objecting to any trees being cut in a state park because they like to walk through it each day. Sigh...

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Ski
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PostMon Sep 05, 2022 11:08 am 
altasnob wrote:
"... or make people camping there sign liability waivers ..."
In a perfect world, that might be a possibility. Unfortunately, where it concerns the National Park Service, that is not, and most likely will never be a possibility. Same with U.S. Forest Service administered lands. (Not going to throw down on DNR or WDFW or WA State Parks administered facilities, because I haven't had any conversation with any of their staff people about this issue.) Not sure who or when - might have been Buddy Rose up at Randle or maybe Nancy Hendricks when she was the compliance officer up at ONP - but I made inquiries regarding just that issue - liability - and it doesn't matter how stupid you are, and it doesn't matter what sort of jackassery you are engaged in when you do physical harm to your own person, they're still liable. I'm not an attorney, so I don't know the mechanics there, but the people I've spoken (very candidly) with on the phone over the years have made that part of the picture pretty clear. Ergo: the only option is to cut the trees down. It is important to note treeswarper's very salient point regarding the root fungus problem:
treeswarper wrote:
Root rot requires almost a clear cut to take place, depending on the tree species int he campground.
Let me add to that: The root fungus doesn't stop at property lines, survey markers, or international borders. In many cases, addressing the problem effectively can require clearcutting past the boundaries of the infected area. The protests about removing the infected trees at Kopachuck State Park came from the adjacent private property owners, just for the record. (pers. comm., phone, Wa. State Parks) **** Working as a "VIP" (Volunteer in Parks) for ONP when I was recovering from cancer - would have been 2001 or 2002 - I did a "road inventory" for ONP. They wanted a detailed list of ALL the infrastructure along each NPS administered road within the boundaries of ONP, which required me to make a detailed list of every picnic table, bench, sign, bridge, kiosk, outhouse, or any other structure. (Guardrails were not inventoried, but mile markers were.) I covered every site at July Creek CG. Addressing the root fungus problem there will require the removal of every single one of those magnificent Douglas Firs, many of which exceed 60 inches DBH. It would look like a war zone after the fact. It is worth nothing that the Quinault Tribe just clearcut around the entire southern end of Lake Quinault about 15 years ago. Drive by there today - the trees are about 25-30 feet tall now.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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PostMon Sep 05, 2022 4:47 pm 
The last I heard, an area has to be cut 50 feet beyond the last infected tree. This may have changed. One option in the lower elevations would be to plant our red alder, which grows quickly, and then interplant with ano resistant conifer species. That's how nature would do it--minus the resistant part. Of course, the alder is not long lived so it would have to be dealt with when it begins to decline, and die. Part of the Silverbrook Road, in Randle had to be cut due to root rot weakened trees frequently falling on the road, which is a busy (for Randle) road. It was clearcut, which was necessary, within the distance of a tree hitting the road.

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Ski
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PostMon Sep 05, 2022 11:06 pm 
^ Alder and willow are always the first to pioneer newly opened areas, particularly if there's any water handy. Problem there is that if the alder gets established and it's not cut (or otherwise removed) that would delay the introduction of long-lived and more desirable conifer species. Fifty feet is the width of my back yard - hardly enough to contain that root fungus. BK

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Bowregard
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PostTue Sep 06, 2022 6:51 am 
I probably don't pay as much attention to standing trees as I should but I am really careful not to camp near any cottonwood trees in the spring. We had a huge Cottonwood in the front yard of a house we used to live in which would drop limbs in the Spring that were close to 8" diameter. No wind, rain, or warning and the tree looked very healthy but one of the limbs took out part of my front deck and the others made huge indentations in the lawn. Scared us enough that we eventually had the tree taken down. I think the limbs just got too heavy for the attachment strength when the sap started to flow in the Spring. I have spoken with others who had the same experience. Fortunately, these trees grow mainly near lowland rivers where we don't do much camping but I will not camp anywhere close to those trees.

thunderhead
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treeswarper
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PostTue Sep 06, 2022 7:05 am 
Ski wrote:
^ Alder and willow are always the first to pioneer newly opened areas, particularly if there's any water handy. Problem there is that if the alder gets established and it's not cut (or otherwise removed) that would delay the introduction of long-lived and more desirable conifer species. Fifty feet is the width of my back yard - hardly enough to contain that root fungus. BK
Problem is, that the alder would become hazard trees as they became mature. Meanwhile, interplanting with a more shade tolerant species can be done. I believe this was the plan for that campground you mentioned. Mus Fifty feet was what was used. Port Blakely was using an excavator and ripping out stumps on the edges of one of their cuts. I don't think that would be effective as little bits of root would remain in the ground. 50 feet was used as the measurement on the Silverbrook road...like I WROTE previously, that figure may have changed. Alder also becomes a PIA in the winter as the heavy lowland snow bends it over and breaks it. But it is a nitrogen fixer and good for the soil that way. I'd plant devil's club in areas to keep folks on trails. up.gif

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities

Ski
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scottk
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PostTue Sep 06, 2022 2:08 pm 
I suggest we keep things in perspective. Although I'm all in support of removing hazard trees, it's a highly unlikely way to die. ahttps://www.hellis.biz/advice-centre/trees-and-the-law/risk-of-trees-causing-harm-or-injury/ Please worry about being murdered (annual risk about 1 in 13,000) or an accident in the home (annual risk of 1 in 17,000) before you worry about being killed by a falling tree (annual risk of 1 in 10 million). My concern is that people will stop going outdoors because of unwarranted fears. Fear of bear attacks in Washington State is another unwarranted fear. According to WDFS, there have been 18 bear attacks since 1970, with one fatality. Assuming 6 million people in Washington state, your annual chance of dying from a bear attack in Washington State is 1 in 300 million. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/black-bear-attacks-jogger-on-whatcom-county-trail/

Ski, graywolf, Anne Elk
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PostTue Sep 06, 2022 6:42 pm 
^ I wonder if Mr. Spock ever had an opportunity to compute the odds. Most likely insufficient data, Captain. Perspective: you're more likely to get killed in your car driving to the trailhead. I don't worry in the least about trees falling, and I've been in deep forest lugging a pack when big pieces of wood were coming down out of the canopy. A bit spooky sometimes. Only thing that really scares me is falling. I fell in July and my shin still isn't quite healed up. The advantage to going ahead and simply removing these so-called "hazard" trees is that we assure the future of campground camping opportunities. It should be done sooner, not later. Just my lousy two cents.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Foist
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PostTue Sep 06, 2022 11:35 pm 
Several people on here say that falling trees striking campers is a common occurrence. Is that really true? We have many thousands of people backpacking and camping in Washington every day (in season) around trees, and how often do we hear of this happening? Seems like once in multiple years. Does anyone have actual data on this? Also, I find it funny when non-lawyers make pronouncement about "liability reasons." It is virtually impossible to make a liability case against the federal government for something like this. (although against the state government, maybe a little easier.) Liability has nothing to do with it. It's basic incentives. Government bureaucracies absolutely LOVE closing things for safety reasons (although I'm sure some individual rangers are genuinely sorry about it). It is a win-win. The campgrounds are not money-makers. Closing them means less work for them, less money spent, AND they get to pat themselves on the back for putting "safety first." Even if the improvement to safety is miniscule, and the cost to taxpayers in losing a valuable service is enormous, that cost is meaningless to them.

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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostWed Sep 07, 2022 9:40 am 
Foist wrote:
Several people on here say that falling trees striking campers is a common occurrence. Is that really true? We have many thousands of people backpacking and camping in Washington every day (in season) around trees, and how often do we hear of this happening? Seems like once in multiple years. Does anyone have actual data on this? Also, I find it funny when non-lawyers make pronouncement about "liability reasons." It is virtually impossible to make a liability case against the federal government for something like this. (although against the state government, maybe a little easier.) Liability has nothing to do with it. It's basic incentives. Government bureaucracies absolutely LOVE closing things for safety reasons (although I'm sure some individual rangers are genuinely sorry about it). It is a win-win. The campgrounds are not money-makers. Closing them means less work for them, less money spent, AND they get to pat themselves on the back for putting "safety first." Even if the improvement to safety is miniscule, and the cost to taxpayers in losing a valuable service is enormous, that cost is meaningless to them.
I don't think so. It's a combination of budget, fear of appeals and litigation about the project, and scheduling. Scheduling NEPA or whatever the state has to do. It's become a complicated process to cut trees. And to the other posts, no, you are not liable to get clobbered by a tree, but danger trees have to come down in campgrounds. It is easier to deal with a tree that has had its fall controlled than clean up and maybe replace the smashed campground infrastructure caused by trees falling themselves.

What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Foist
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PostWed Sep 07, 2022 9:41 am 
Last week's tragedy didn't happen at a campground. It happened at a backcountry campsite. I suppose one might say, see? No one clears "hazard trees" in the backcountry! But nevertheless, similar tragedies are (seemingly) incredibly rare.

graywolf
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Sep 07, 2022 11:10 am 
It's the typical mindset in this country of, We must save everyone from everything!

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Sep 07, 2022 1:13 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
It's the typical mindset in this country of, We must save everyone from everything!
You've been in a car, right...?

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Gwen
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PostSun Sep 11, 2022 11:13 am 
I was on a WTA VV a number of years ago. We were camped about half way up Little Giant Pass. One afternoon I had crawled into my tent after work for a nap. Suddenly, I heard the large crack and all I could think was I didn't have time to even try to get out of the tent. Turns out the tree was about 30' away and fell in a separate direction. Have heard many of trees fall, seemingly for no reason. Calm day, no winds, nothing that would be considered an event. Sometimes they just give up the ghost. Spend enough time in the woods an you'll experience it. I can say that, as a hammock camper and a sawyer, I do take note of my environment a lot more if I'm going to be spending any amount of time in a single spot. Situational awareness it one of the greatest tools we xan possess, in any aspect of life.

Tomorrow's not promised to anyone, so be bold, scare yourself, attempt something with no guarantee of success. You'll be amazed at what you can achieve. -Olive McGloin

Anne Elk
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