Some Roads, Campgrounds in Six Rivers National Forest Closed Until Late Spring/Early Summer to Reduce Risk of Port-Orford-cedar Root Disease

This is a press release from the U.S. Forest Service:

The Elk Valley photo shows dead and dying Port-Orford cedar on the Orleans Ranger District.

EUREKA, Calif., November 21, 2017 – Six Rivers National Forest Supervisor Merv George Jr. announced today that with the onset of the rainy season, some roads and campgrounds in the central and northern parts of the forest have been closed to motor-vehicle use to reduce the risk of spreading Phytophthora lateralis (PL), the non-native pathogen that causes Port-Orford-cedar (POC) root disease.

These seasonal road and campground closures are in effect until road surfaces dry out in late spring or early summer, minimizing the potential spread of the disease. Under wet conditions, pathogen-laden soil is easily spread from infested to non-infested areas by vehicles, including mountain bikes, off-highway vehicles, and heavy equipment, as well as by hikers, hunters, horses and dogs.

“Even if you’re just hiking in these wet areas, cleaning off your muddy boots before walking behind a closed gate can prevent the spread of the disease from one watershed to another,” said Jeff Jones, the forest’s vegetation program manager. He added, “It’s important to observe these POC road closures, because the pathogen generally doesn’t spread into areas where there is no access.”

Once the root disease is introduced into an area, Port-Orford-cedar trees will die—young trees within a few months of infection and mature trees within two to four years.

There are many infested POC areas on the Gasquet Ranger District/Smith River National Recreation Area (NRA) and in the Bluff Creek drainage on the Orleans Ranger District. There are a few POC areas on the Lower Trinity Ranger District, and none on the Mad River Ranger District.

The following roads and campgrounds have been closed with the onset of fall rains, and will re-open in late spring/early summer once the roads have dried out:

·         Gasquet Ranger District/Smith River NRA: Forest Service Roads 18N17 and spurs; 18N16 and spurs; 18N02; portions of 18N07; the upper section of 18N08; 16N02, about 9 miles up and spurs beyond that point; the upper section of 16N03 and spurs; the upper section of 15N01, about 11 miles up and spurs beyond that point; and 14N01, about 4 miles up and spurs beyond that point; plus additional road closures on smaller routes not specified in this notice.

·         Orleans and Ukonom Ranger Districts: Forest Service Roads 13N01, 10N12, 10N42, 10N27, 10N14, 10N42, 11N28, 12N11, 14N02, 14N03, 13N17, 14N21, 11N47, 12N17, 11N04, 11N16, 11N49, 11N14, 10N06, 10N04, 12N10, 12N13, and all side roads off of these main roads, as well as Fish Lake Campground.

·         Lower Trinity Ranger District: Forest Service Roads 05N10, 06N18, 06N21, 06N22, 06N36, 06N38 and 07N71B, as well as East Fork Campground.

Information about Port-Orford-cedar is available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/srnf/PortOrfordCedar or by contacting Jeff Jones at (707) 441-3553.

The Gasquet photo shows a typical gate across a road with a warning about Port-Orford cedar areas behind the gate.

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10 comments

  • What a bunch of bullshit.

  • Anything to keep the public off public land

  • I don’t want to be a bummer, but aren’t some of those roads the ones needed to get in mitigations from the wildfires? Does this mean we don’t even get crews up there to help keep the mountainsides from dumping into the streams?

    Seems to me the feds want to go 100% native uninhabited planet on our national forests… keep their budgets for paychecks to sit and monitor it all by satellite.

    • Sounds like a bureaucratic dream.

      • They’re going for exactly that. Can’t help it. They flat out said they’re letting the big ones burn for fuels mitigation. The Chetco Bar fire this year was 5,000 acres for a MONTH, and then two months later it was coming up on 200,000 acres and loads of people evacuating. They think this is good management… or they SAY they think that.

        I called. I said, “You are not firefighting. You are fire tending.” They admitted it, with the fuels excuse. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of acres burnt right down to the streams.

        I know Cal-Fire people who are heap big unhappy about that stuff, and I think the feds’ next excuse for inaction will be this disease. So whatever ground was not glassified by fire will slide straight down… and I wonder if we even have some non-GMO salmon eggs and sperm frozen somewhere for when we might get lucky enough to have some forest back.

        Sorry, again. You can tell I am fed up. We can do so much better than this, and all I ever hear is “too much money”… when they do NOT even go in and scream like the lobbyists for “defense” budget allocations. THINK what could be done with all that money we spend slaughtering people all over the world.

        • I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve been in the midst of quite a few big USFS managed fires; often the backfires account for more acreage than the actual fire.

          I know this doesn’t make it any better, but, as far as I know, the only “firefighters” on the federal pay roll are at airports. The crews working under USFS are not technically “firefighters”. CalFire crews are firefighters and they put fires out.

          Sensible forest management plans would go a long ways to abating massive forest fires.

  • What doesn’t make any sense is how are they keeping migratory animals from tracking in (or out) the port orford fungus.
    I would really like to see them study why some of these trees are not susceptible to the fungus. These trees are beautiful but the so called science behind these closures is more than a little lame.
    If they just want to minimize the winter damage to roads then just say that.

    • does your wheel well collect and hold more debris when its wet or dry? the science is that simple. how much debris does a hoove collect and how much of that debris would be ejected over time/distance and replaced by new debris? that would be determined by animal and terrain traveled.

  • I’m pretty sure one of the roads on the closure list has no POC.

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