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Major Sierra tree troubles this year
#21147 02/01/12 07:58 AM
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Sierra damaged by windstorm

Thunderous wind blew across much of the Sierra on Nov 30. causing widespread damage. These unusually strong northern winds gusted to more than 180 mph and stayed higher than 120 mph for more than three hours, toppling thousands of trees. We expect to find significant numbers of downed trees on the PCT next summer.

The U.S. Forest Service reports that front country sites from Red's Meadow to Whitney Portal were battered. The known damage is greatest at Red's Meadow, where as many as 10,000 trees are down. Reports are scarce from the crest. One PCTA staffer surveyed some Yosemite tread and found significant, but not startling blow down. The damage appears to be region-wide, with pockets of concentration.

Once the snow melts, it's likely to take a long time to clear and repair roads and campgrounds, not to mention the PCT. Some locations may be temporarily closed. Trail users should be aware that there might be trees with weakened root systems or that have only partially fallen. Those could fall later, so pick your routes and your campsites carefully.

We'd like to take this time to remind you of our extensive volunteer program that includes crosscut and chainsaw training and certification. Join a volunteer project or attend one of our Trail Skills Colleges. It is volunteers like you that make this work possible. Information about volunteering can be found at: pcta.org/help/volunteer.asp

A longer article about this wind event and a catalog of some of the damage can be found here: INF notice on trees

-- Jack Haskel, PCTA Trail Information Specialist

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21148 02/01/12 08:16 AM
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Related to this, I spent the last week in Fresno working at Lost Lake Park, where about 180 mature trees were uprooted (!), and my crew used chainsaws to cut them up for firewood under contract to the County. Astonishing to see mature oak trees literally uprooted. I cut wood for 6 consecutive days, sunrise to sunset. Definitely brushed up on my technique for the season.

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21153 02/01/12 12:48 PM
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120mph sustained for three hours? Good gosh.

Thanks for posting this, I'll be taking a look at volunteer page that you provided. I'd definitely be interested in doing my part.


One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson
Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21160 02/01/12 05:36 PM
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Bill Carter from Bishop runs an annual project out of Reds Meadow from the end of June into the July 4th weekend. The crew clears most all of the trails leading out of the Reds Meadow area. I'm sure they will need any extra volunteers that are interested this year.

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21203 02/03/12 11:39 AM
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Thanks, Ken.
I'm doing the JMT southbound this summer, so knowing this is very helpful.

CaT


If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
CaT #21214 02/03/12 07:35 PM
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CaT, it is going to be a very odd year on the JMT. No one knows what it is like up there with deadfall right now. Below treeline, everyone thinks it is terrible. Probably nothing that hikers can't get past, but could be serious trouble for stock.

I'd be very concerned about unstable hazard trees. A forest worker was killed last year by a falling tree on her tent. There's a lot of unstable stuff, and a lot of broken-off branches still up in trees, waiting to fall.

I hope people are careful about looking up when they stop to camp or rest. It amazes me what people set up tents under.....

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21216 02/03/12 08:17 PM
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> I hope people are careful about looking up when they stop to camp or rest. It amazes me what people set up tents under.....

I was hiking with a friend through Yosemite, and she spoke of something similar, of a ranger warning people to watch where they camp. The topic was foreign to me, so I told her I'd never heard of that. Maybe I said it with the wrong tone in my voice, but it set her off. She took off hiking like crazy, and the rest of the group had a hard time keeping up. I think she eventually cooled down, though.

Fast forward a year or two... Talking to another camper on one of our Channel Island trips, a woman related that she was camping with a group, and in the night a limb fell from the tree overhead ...and killed the fellow sleeping right next to her!

Obviously I am a believer now!

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21238 02/04/12 03:14 PM
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Quote:
I'd be very concerned about unstable hazard trees. A forest worker was killed last year by a falling tree on her tent. There's a lot of unstable stuff, and a lot of broken-off branches still up in trees, waiting to fall.

I hope people are careful about looking up when they stop to camp or rest.

Sounds like the woods on our farm. I'll certainly be careful.
Thanks for the report, Ken.

CaT


If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)
Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
CaT #21239 02/04/12 03:27 PM
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I once camped at Cachuma Lake. There was a huge crash in the next campsite over. We ran over there and found an approx. 20"-wide horizontal oak branch on the ground, with millions of termites zooming around in panic. The people immediately on the other side told us that the people camping directly under that limb had packed up and left 20 minutes before.

This photo was taken at the exact same campsite a few years later. The oak branch was still on the tent footprint.




Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII
Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21336 02/08/12 02:27 PM
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Newly posted on the PCTA website for anyone that might want to go:

Quote:
30 Jun - 7 Jul 2012, Sat - Sat. Annual Reds Meadow Trail Project. Inyo NF. The Backcountry Horsemen of California and PCTA will repair/clear trails in the Reds Meadow area of the Mammoth Ranger District. An extreme wind event left MANY downed trees blocking the PCT and other forest trails. We may need to use chainsaws in non-wilderness heavily impacted areas; otherwise crosscut saws will be used. We will clear and re-open the PCT north and south of Reds Meadow, the Fish Creek Trail, the King Creek Trail, and respond to other trail needs as required. Participants are welcome to arrive and make camp on Fri, 29 Jun, with the first meal that night. Camp will be at the Reds Meadow Pack Station and Resort where RV or tent camping, rest rooms, and showers will be at zero cost to participants. A store and restaurant are close to the camp. All food, safety equipment, tools, and instruction will be provided. The BCHC pack animals will haul tools, equipment, and some dunnage to the work sites. Depart if you wish on Sun, 8 Jul after the last meal, breakfast. To register please contact Merrit Hoeh, Tel.: 916-285-1838, Email: mhoeh@pcta.org" . You can also contact the crew leader for info: Bill Carter, Tel.: 760-872-7511 (office) or 760-937-0883 (cell).

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21620 02/25/12 03:33 PM
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Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
RoguePhotonic #21640 02/26/12 08:21 PM
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Well, finally met Rogue on a trail work project, and he acquitted himself quite well on the Brushcutter.

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21642 02/27/12 02:52 AM
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Yeah hopefully I will see you on some more projects in the future.

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Ken #21643 02/27/12 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ken
Well, finally met Rogue on a trail work project, and he acquitted himself quite well on the Brushcutter.




Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Fishmonger #21644 02/27/12 07:07 AM
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If anyone is interested...

On a Windows / PC platform, pressing the Esc key stops the motion on the above image.

Re: Major Sierra tree troubles this year
Steve C #21656 02/27/12 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted By: Steve C
If anyone is interested...

On a Windows / PC platform, pressing the Esc key stops the motion on the above image.


Works on a mac using Firefox too.


Mike

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