Root rot closes Herman Creek campground

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Forest Service is temporarily closing Herman Creek Campground/Horse Camp, located just east of Cascade Locks and 47 miles from Portland, to protect public health and safety. This temporary closure is expected to last throughout the 2014 summer season, and the public will be notified when the campground is reopened.

Threats to public safety from diseased trees were identified in the seven-site campground, popular with equestrian users. Laminated root rot is a native tree pathogen that has infected more than 30 trees in the campground. The disease, which affects the roots and lower stems of certain tree species, has the potential to cause healthy-looking trees to fall without warning.

“Laminated root rot poses significant safety hazards in developed recreation sites such as campgrounds,” said CRGNSA Manager Lynn Burditt. “Trees infected with the disease are highly unstable and can easily fall over as they lose root strength.”

The United States Forest Service has been monitoring the situation and determined that laminated root rot was spreading throughout the campground. Laminated root rot is the most damaging root disease of forest trees in Oregon and Washington, and most hazardous to people and property in developed sites.

A vegetation management plan for the campground will be developed to deal with the removal of diseased trees. Since laminated root rot affects only the roots and lower trunk, most of the wood in the infected trees is sound and may be used for in-stream work to improve fish habitat in the CRGNSA.

After diseased trees are removed, the campground will be replanted with conifer trees that are resistant to laminated root rot; they will provide long-lasting vegetation for the future of this site. The atmosphere of the campground will change to a more open feeling in the short-term.

All other USFS campgrounds in the CRGNSA will be open and the Herman Creek Trailhead will not be affected by this closure. Herman Creek Campground/Horse Camp will be reopened and the closure lifted when USFS has determined there are no longer any public safety hazards.

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For more information about the project, contact Stan Hinatsu at 541-308-1708.

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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



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