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Old 03-31-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
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Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

News
Release


U.S. Forest Service
2221 North Raguet St.
Lufkin, Texas 75904
www.fs.usda.gov/texas
March 30, 2012 Contact: Warren Oja, 936-344-6205

For Immediate Release

Sam Houston National Forest closes areas
due to hazardous trees



As trees continue to die in the wake of last summer’s historic drought, safety concerns for forest visitors are prompting the closure of several areas in the Sam Houston National Forest.

Among areas closed are Cagle Hiking Trail, John’s Point Trail, Long Star Hiking Trail, Multi-Use Trail, Office Hiking Trail, Equestrian Trail, Double Lake Shore Hiking Trail and Double Lake Mountain Bike Trail. In addition, some hunter camps and some parking areas will be posted as closed as well as Kelly’s Pond camping area, dispersed camping along Forest Service Road 271, Stubblefield Recreation Area and Paloka Point off Forest Service Road 248.

Despite recent rainfall, the extreme stress from the drought continues to kill trees, said Stephanie Neal Johnson, acting forest supervisor for the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas.

“Safety is always a primary concern, and we will close trails, some hunter camps and other places in the forest where people gather until we can evaluate their condition,” Johnson said.

Forest visitors should always check their surroundings and be aware of the possibility of falling limbs or trees.

“We understand this is the time of year when people like to get out in the great outdoors, and everyone must remember they are responsible for their own safety,” Johnson said.

For more information, contact Sam Houston National Forest Ranger Warren Oja at 936-344-6205.

###

================================================== ===========================================

News
Release


U.S. Forest Service
2221 North Raguet St.
Lufkin, Texas 75904
www.fs.usda.gov/texas
March 30, 2012 Contact: Gerald Lawrence, 936-655-2299

For Immediate Release

Davy Crockett National Forest closes areas
due to hazardous trees


As trees continue to die in the wake of last summer’s historic drought, safety concerns for forest visitors are prompting the closure of several areas in the Davy Crockett National Forest.

Among areas closed are Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area, 4C National Recreation Trail, Tall Pines Trail and Piney Creek Horse Trails. In addition, some hunter camps and some parking areas will be posted as closed.

Despite recent rainfall, the extreme stress from the drought continues to kill trees, said Stephanie Neal Johnson, acting forest supervisor for the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas.

“Safety is always a primary concern, and we will close trails, some hunter camps and other places in the forest where people gather until we can evaluate their condition,” Johnson said.

Forest visitors should always check their surroundings and be aware of the possibility of falling limbs or trees.

“We understand this is the time of year when people like to get out in the great outdoors, and everyone must remember that they are responsible for their own safety,” Johnson said.

For more information, contact Davy Crockett National Forest Ranger Gerald Lawrence at 936-655-2299.

###
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

sucks. one more example of the nanny state we live in.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

It's not the Nanny, it's the litigators.

Tree dies from drought but is still standing. Visitor camps under dead tree. Wind blows tree down. Tree, or parts of it, injures visitor. Uncle Sam gets billed.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:54 PM   #4
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

I will offer to cut dead trees.... Some of that dead standing timber would make great vigas for adobe houses. But I doubt park services would take my offer.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ed29 View Post
I will offer to cut dead trees.... Some of that dead standing timber would make great vigas for adobe houses. But I doubt park services would take my offer.
Do they issue salvage contracts?
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

Trail Users,
As most of you know all trails in the Sam Houston NF are closed, because of all the dead trees. In an effort to evaluate the trail system the Forest Service is organizing trail users to help find the dead trees. We need ALL trail users help! User work groups will meet maybe as early as this weekend. When the call goes out we will need as many trail users as possible to bring their motorcycles, four wheelers, bicycles, horses and/or hiking boots to the forest to travel all the trails in the Sam Houston by April 18th.

The plan will be to travel the trails & GPS the dead tree locations within 150' either side.

This is just a pre-begging email to alert you what is going on & so you can pass the word.

Do not go to the forest until the meeting place in communicated to you. Just make ready.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

The district ranger, Warren Oja, emailed me with the plan.

Quote:
NFGT Hazard Tree Rapid Assessment Plan.
Friday, Apil 06, 2012 2:14 PM
SPREAD THE WORD THRU YOUR TRAIL NETWORK

Chris – There will be a meeting at the district office on 9:30 am Monday, 4/9/12 to brief our employees and trail coalition volunteers, who will be assessing the hazardous trees on trails and trail heads within the Sam Houston NF.

Data collection forms and instructions will be handed out and explained along with using GPS units, taking photo points, volunteer agreements, and a safety briefing. For those who can’t make it Monday, but wish to help later

In the week or following weekend, the district will provide additional briefings at that time. See you Monday.
If we want the trails open again, WE ALL NEED TO HELP!

I plan on working next week. Anyone else that can please do so we can get a jump on next weekend.
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Old 04-22-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

National Forests And Grasslands In Texas
Sam Houston NF
394 FM 1375 West
New Waverly, Texas 77358
Phone 936-344-6205
__________________________________________________ ____________________________
United States Department of Forest Service
File Code: 1950
Date: April 19, 2012

Dear Interested Citizen,

I would like to invite you to a collaborative public meeting being held on April 24, 2012 at 7:00
pm at the Sam Houston Ranger Station. The purpose of this meeting is to review the recently
completed assessments for dead trees along all Sam Houston National Forest trails and discuss
future direction for managing the trails. It is likely that some sections of trails will be opened
soon and priorities need to be set for sections of trails to remain temporarily closed.

For additional information about this meeting or the trails assessments, contact me at 936-344-
6205. Thank you for your interest and participation in the activities on the Sam Houston National Forest.

Sincerely,
Warren L. Oja
District Ranger

================================================== ============
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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Re: Sam Houston/Davy Crockett National Forests closes areas

This is what the district ranger reported at the coalition meeting the 5th. This includes all main line trails.

Quote:
Trail Closure Status: The SHNF staff has reviewed the hazard tree assessments on the low-risk areas and revised the status of many trail sections. Previously some 67% of the mainline trails (Multi-Use, Double Lake Mountain Bike and Lone Star Hiking Trail) were reported as low-risk (less than 50 dead trees per mile). The re-assessment by SHNF staff indicates only 25% low risk (with 46% medium risk--less than 100 dead trees per mile, and 29% high risk—more than 100 dead trees per mile). The low risk trails will be reopened once all trailheads at both ends of each section are clear of trees. The SHNF staff is making substantial progress. One hundred and thirty-five (135) trees have been cleared from trailheads this week; all trailheads but one has been cleared. Some 2400 trees needed to be cut from the trailheads, campgrounds, and developed recreational sites. 1500 have been cut; 900 remain. In the upcoming week, SHNF staff will begin marking trees to be cut from the medium to high risk trails. Hopefully funding will be forthcoming to hire contract labor to cut the dead trees that are leaning toward and endangering the trails. Cagle, Stubblefield and Double Lake Recreation Areas have been cleared and are open. Scotts Ridge and Kelly’s Pond remain closed. The coalition applauded Ranger Oja and his staff for the fantastic progress and the work done in the last week.

Ranger Oja announced that a new Forest Supervisor will come on board July 7th. It was suggested that the new Forest Supervisor be invited to attend the August 4th Coalition General Meeting. Ranger Oja agreed.
Some of the camp grounds were cleared by a salvage timber sale. The district is trying to complete paper work to keep the money from the sale in the district. Normally the money goes into the general fund. The order had not been signed as of the 5th.

The plan is to cut trees that are leaning toward the trail. I do not think this will happen until a contractor(s) is hired. Which will be ????????.

All trail users re-stated that dead trees were not a danger. We have been using the trails with trees falling from before there were designated trails. Ms. Stephanie Neal Johnson does not care!

The best news of the meeting is that Ms. Stephanie Neal Johnson will be gone by July. Hopefully her replacement will be more trail user-friendly.
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