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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 9:40 am 
It's post coffee and post walk. My brain has kicked in. Hazard trees: A major part of identification and then deciding what to do is how many people and how long are people around them? A dead tree along a dead end spur road with little traffic on it won't be a priority. A dead tree in a campground where people are around the trees for hours is a major priority. It's all the probability of a human being in the area that a tree can fall and how long they are there. A busy road is a priority. A trailhead? Not so much as a campground, but important, depending on use. That campground, which we called Short Sands, is a major priority. It's used heavily and people are there for a good length of time. That's why it is going to be shut down until hazard trees are cut and cleanup takes place. On a side note, dead limbs are taken out using a big sling shot. I think they call it the Big Shot and worse if it snaps back and gets the operator. It fires a bag filled with weight and tied to a small line. Then a heavier line is pulled up and folks wiggle it around and then try to yank the limb down.

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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JVesquire
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 10:32 am 
Falling trees are the only thing that really worries me about backpacking or wilderness camping. Lightning, bears, etc. not a worry. Falling trees and ignorant people worry me far more than anything else.

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Kim Brown
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 11:34 am 
altasnob wrote:
you are way more likely to get killed driving to the campground than a tree falling on you.
They're not likely liable for car accident deaths as they would be for not closing the areas for which they are responsible, to hazards they know about (or should know about, whether or not they actually do, depending on what the definition of "should" is, given circumstances).

"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area." Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert

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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 12:27 pm 
altasnob wrote:
Thank God we have Big Brother government to shut down the most popular campground in the state after trees fall down. Never mind you are way more likely to get killed driving to the campground than a tree falling on you.
Right. They shut down the Gold Basin CG out on the MLH, the year of the Oso slide, even though the likelyhood of similar slide in the Summer is imo very remote. The CG has nearly 100 sites, an amphitheater, showers, etc, so it is definitely missed. Have to try to 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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puzzlr
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 2:30 pm 
It is true that Gold Basin has been closed for a few years, but there is a huge river channel project still in progress. I haven't heard that the campground will be closed forever.

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Sculpin
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 2:59 pm 
altasnob wrote:
you are way more likely to get killed driving to the campground than a tree falling on you.
Once again altasnob offers up the proper perspective. If a tree falls in a popular campground in the summer, there is a reasonable likelihood of a bad outcome because the campsites are occupied most of the time. But a tree falling on you? Not likely.

Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir

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RumiDude
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 4:14 pm 
Some people can't resist inserting their political views in a thread that doesn't even remotely call for that. Oh well ... Anyway, it is difficult to discern exactly when and where a tree might fall. Not knowing the exact circumstances on this tragedy, I can offer a few observations about that particular area and treed areas in general. #1 The trees around Elk Lake in ONP are still rather tall and thus camping in an place to avoid any possible tree fall is almost impossible in that area. The same is true for much of the subalpine in ONP. #2 Most people would not recognize a widow-maker, even most so-call experts. Relatively small limbs falling from height are potentially fatal in a direct hit. #3 Give it your best judgement and pitch your shelter. After that, don't worry too much. #4 Avoid windy situations, especially in the spring. The winter storms have likely broken and weakened my branches and sometimes they don't actually fall until a good wind shakes them out. Loggers on the Olympic Peninsula don't work in the woods during windy conditions for just that reason. RIP, to this Canadian hiker. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 4:34 pm 
puzzlr wrote:
It is true that Gold Basin has been closed for a few years, but there is a huge river channel project still in progress. I haven't heard that the campground will be closed forever.
It's sure is taking a long time...last winter several trees that they had placed as rip rap along the north shore were washed downstream. Pretty challenging job of engineering in areas of the Robe Valley and to the east.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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graywolf
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PostFri Sep 02, 2022 5:36 pm 
RumiDude wrote:
#1 The trees around Elk Lake in ONP are still rather tall and thus camping in an place to avoid any possible tree fall is almost impossible in that area.
This. I've camped at and passed through Elk Lake many times since 1976 - camped there just last month. What Rumi says is an accurate description of this camp - there isn't a gravel bar, open area, etc. to get away from potential falling trees. For what it's worth (maybe nothing), when I was there a few weeks ago it was the most crowded I've ever seen it.

The only easy day was yesterday...
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Bargainhunter
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PostSun Sep 04, 2022 10:01 am 
Not an uncommon event. This happens regularly in campsites and cities as well. There have been several such fatalities in Yosemite campgrounds. I also recall doing a long 45 mile day hike loop from Tuolumne to Yosemite Valley and back, starting in the dark and hiking through the night, with a nap on top of Clouds Rest. While hiking in the woods by headlamp with no wind, we suddenly heard the crack and splintering of a massive tree nearby, but due to the darkness, we had no idea if was going to fall directly on us. The ground vibrated with the thunderous crash, so we had been close, but fortunately not under it. When we passed the Curry lodge in the morning, I stopped briefly to eat two Grand Slam breakfasts. smile.gif The Rockport State Park campground is permanently closed to camping due to the hazard of old growth fall. The campground loop is open to hike or drive, and it's cool to see nature taking over. Picnic tables covered with a thick layer of moss, etc. It looks like a great set for a zombie apocalypse movie. Evidently it's one of the few spots along North Cascades Hwy that has never been logged.

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Ski
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PostSun Sep 04, 2022 4:18 pm 
From: Ski Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2022 3:33 PM To: ONP, Wa State Parks, WDFW, a few others Subject: Re: Olympic National Park News Release: Visitor Fatality in Olympic National Park NOT the tree’s fault. Life entails risk. Life outdoors entails a higher degree of risk. Life outdoors in the WILDERNESS entails a whole boatload of risk. NOT to make light of or in any way diminish what is clearly an unfortunate tragedy. It is folly to believe that closing overnight campsite facilities at established, drive-in campgrounds is a panacea that will prevent accidents of this nature. This incident is prima facie evidence of that being true. Closing the July Creek Campground at Olympic National Park to overnight camping was DUMB. Closing Kopachuck State Park (Washington State Parks) to overnight camping was DUMB. I drove past TWO campgrounds earlier today that had signs out on 101 saying “CAMPING SITES FULL”. The closure of overnight campground facilities, or designating established, drive-in campground facilities to “Day Use Only” because trees MIGHT fall down and kill people is DUMB and incredibly short-sighted. Cut the trees down, plant new trees. In 20 years, you’ll have a lovely lush green campground again, and you’ll have given the earth a 20-year hiatus from the impact of stupid humans. Thank you for your time and consideration.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."

Chief Joseph
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Anne Elk
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PostSun Sep 04, 2022 8:54 pm 
Several years ago I went to the coast and stayed at the Mora campground. There were several campsites that were marked off and closed because of "dangerous trees", so the PS must have done an assessment and made an educated guess which direction the questionable trees would fall. It seems like a more sensible approach than just closing an entire campground.

"There are yahoos out there. It’s why we can’t have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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Chief Joseph
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PostSun Sep 04, 2022 10:27 pm 
I agree Annie. The Verlot campground close to my place cuts down several trees each year especially the Spruce and Cedars. The Spruce out there get very big and top heavy due to dense and long branches and the cedars many times rot and snap off in wind storms. A huge spruce came down next to my place several years ago and fell across the highway. Plus 2 winters ago down at the Robe store a Spruce snapped off and took out the roof of the garage and another fell on my neighbors shop. I have 2 similar trees on my property, when they come down, it won't be pretty. If you drive through there you might notice a huge shop under construction just to the west of the large log home. He is an iron worker, I doubt there is a tree around that will damage his shop now.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Ski
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PostSun Sep 04, 2022 11:06 pm 
Sorry, didn't mean to derail a thread, but this one hits a nerve for me after crunching the numbers years ago and looking at the ever-decreasing number of available drive-in campsites in Washington State, many of which have been closed (or redesignated "day use only") primarily due to diseased trees. (The numbers are posted HERE) ) In many cases, it's because of a root fungus. (Kopachuck, July Creek: both the same issue.) Compacting the soil around the roots exacerbates the problem and increases the likelihood of this root fungus infecting trees. The soil around the trees in campgrounds, from my observations, usually gets trampled down pretty firmly. I'm not seeing the logic in the National Park Service (or Washington State Parks) management policy. At some point, following along the same path, we'll have no drive-in campgrounds left at all.

"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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treeswarper
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PostMon Sep 05, 2022 8:09 am 
Ski wrote:
Sorry, didn't mean to derail a thread, but this one hits a nerve for me after crunching the numbers years ago and looking at the ever-decreasing number of available drive-in campsites in Washington State, many of which have been closed (or redesignated "day use only") primarily due to diseased trees. (The numbers are posted HERE) ) In many cases, it's because of a root fungus. (Kopachuck, July Creek: both the same issue.) Compacting the soil around the roots exacerbates the problem and increases the likelihood of this root fungus infecting trees. The soil around the trees in campgrounds, from my observations, usually gets trampled down pretty firmly. I'm not seeing the logic in the National Park Service (or Washington State Parks) management policy. At some point, following along the same path, we'll have no drive-in campgrounds left at all.
A bit more derailing, I'd add without reservations. I hate having my spontaneity ruined by having to reserve a place. Hate it. Hate it. I've been told that the main reason campgrounds are going to reservations is that the people with the monster RVs cannot fit into many of the spots so must be sure they can get a spot that is the right size. Did I say I hate reservations? Also, root rot runs rampant and is part of the ecosystem. However, Douglas fir can be replaced by more root rot resistant species. We also need to get over giving in to the righteous camera ready folks who will be "outraged" by the cutting of any size of tree in a campground. Campgrounds are people places and need to be managed for people--and their safety. A few people, who view a campground as their personal playground, seem to make it on camera and in the news when they have misguided objections. So, campgrounds are closed for camping instead of remedying the problem and keeping them open. I love the challenges in the process of logging a campground. I've taken measurements to answer the question of, "Do you think it'll hit the outhouse if I fall it that way?" There's a lot of Thinking Brain work involved. Things not to be smashed. The challenge of making it look as good as possible. It takes some really good techniques for that, and the guys who are experienced in directional falling of large, defective trees are getting fewer.

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

tinman
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