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File photo of Burt Stalter falling a Ponderosa pine - by Gina Clugston

Hazard Tree Work Resumes Along Forest Roads and Trails

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – On Feb. 14, the Sierra National Forest began work on a number of roadside public safety and forest health projects in Eastern Madera and Mariposa counties.

With the recent heavy rains making targeted areas inaccessible or the work too dangerous, crews had to wait for conditions to improve, and are now resuming operations.

“We’re excited to start moving forward again on these projects,” said Mark Smith, Battalion Chief on the Bass Lake Ranger District. “Felling these dead and dying trees will help improve public safety along our roads and increase the overall health and resiliency of the forest.”

To address the unprecedented tree mortality on the Forest, crews have been, and continue to work hard to mitigate hazards along forest roads and trails, and in picnic areas and campgrounds.

The Forest Service Fire and Fuels staff are felling, bucking and disposing of dead trees alongside the following roads and trails on the Bass Lake Ranger District in Madera County:

· Mammoth Pool Road

· Douglas Ranger Station/Willow Canyon Road

· Cedar Valley Drive

· Deer Run Trail Road

· Lewis Creek/Cedar Valley North Trail

· Beasore Road near McCleod Flat

· and Jerseydale Road in Mariposa County

Forest visitors can expect periodic temporary road closures when visiting these areas of the forest. Visitors are advised to use caution when driving along these roads, watch out for crews and equipment, and be prepared to stop for traffic control.

Road work signs will be posted along the routes where work is being performed for crew and public safety. Project operations will continue through the spring as weather permits.

“As we continue to face the enormous challenge of mitigating tree mortality, our first priority is always public and employee safety,” said Bass Lake’s District Ranger Denise Tolmie.

Information on tree mortality can be found by visiting www.fs.usda.gov/main/CATreeMortality.

For further information regarding the Sierra National Forest and recreational activities, please contact the High Sierra Ranger District office in Prather at 559-855-5355; the Bass Lake Ranger District in North Fork at 559-877-2218; or the Forest Supervisors Office in Clovis at 559-297-0706.

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