Wednesday, April 6, 2011
A dramatic timber project adjacent to Riordan Hill Road will close a popular west side mountain biking trail for the next few weeks. Contractors for the Pine Leaf Timber Sale, on county forestry land a couple miles up from Family Man Staging Area, will be working on a steep area of mostly blown-down timber that runs next to sections of the cross country trail called 8 Track.
The Pine Leaf sale consists of three units. The one to be harvested this month - the smallest of the three - sits on a steep hill next to a unit that was clearcut a couple of years ago. The area is prone to strong west winds that roll over the hills between Mount Defiance and the Columbia River; and when the one lot was clearcut, it left the edge of the neighboring unit susceptible to blow-over.
Because of the steep terrain, the project will be a "high lead" sale. A tower at the top of the hill will be set up, with several support cables. The tower and cables will be used to lift timber entirely off the ground and haul it up the hill.
Henry Buckalew, Hood River County Forestry, said the project and the trail closure should last three to five weeks.
"The trail should be open and ready as soon as the sale is over," he said. "No trails are within the unit so there should be no adverse effects on existing trails. Please avoid all operations in the area. It is steep, rugged terrain; there will be cables suspended overhead and there is always the possibility that materials could roll downhill."
Specifically, the closure is the section of 8 Track that begins at Riordan Hill Road across from the bottom of Extended Play, down to and including the portion of trail that travels along old Forest Road 1003 to the sharp turn at Clover Leaf; and the section that begins at Clover Leaf down to the junction of 8 Track/The Boot. 8 Track down from its junction with The Boot will remain open, as will The Boot.
Buckalew said the county has a goal of replanting clear cuts on its property within a year; 400 per acre, usually in the spring when the snow starts to melt.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge