Naches Ranger District Updates
October 4, 2012
· Pyramid Bridge Trail: received the materials needed for the bridge but will not be able to work on the project until next July.
· Copper City: Volunteer work is beginning soon (Jim Putman is helping organize and has more information on this).
· Recently presented grants to NOVA and finished the RTP grounds. Our Recreation Department wanted to give a big THANK YOU to Earl Nettnin and all PNW4WD members that supported us and wrote letters for us. Your continued dedication to helping us with grants is so valuable to the process.
· Deep Creek Horse Camp and Trail Head Project: Project planning is underway with Title II money. Horse Camp Proposal: Due to the rivers location cutting into the old horse camp, this site will be minimally developed. Trail Head Proposal: The trail head at the end of the road will big significantly enhanced to include several more parking spaces including a large pull through for trailers. This project is a CE and scoping has already started. If you have any major questions or concerns please let Michelle King known within the next couple weeks.
· Minnie Meadows and Bake Oven Toilets: Received Title II money for new toilets at these locations. Exact date of project completion is unknown.
· 1913 Bridge is fixed
· 1900 mile post 5.0 and 2.0 repairs are completed.
· Pileup Creek (1900) has the new crossing in but there is still some finishing construction elements occurring. Chance for delays if traveling through the area.
· 1601 arch is in the process of going in now. Worst case scenario, the crossing will be open in 3 weeks, hopefully it will happen sooner.
· 1605 (has always been open) but construction is occurring to enhance the crossing.
· 1808: Project will need to go back to bidding, FS only received one bid and it was extremely over our budget. The new bid will go out to a wider audience.
· In general, several roads projects and maintenance have experienced delays the past couple months but the south zone engineers are working hard to finish up all work possible before snowfall. Several engineers were assigned to various tasks on various fires and we also were delayed due to the IFPL being at a Level III and even Level IV for some period of time. We are thankful that the public has been understanding these long delays.
· Future ERFO Flood Repair Projects: All projects are still in the planning phase and we are continuing to accept comments and feedback (scoping period). The next news you will hear on these projects is when the EA/CE has been completed and the preferred alternative is presented. At that time, you will have a chance to comment in the Official Comment Period. The only project that will not have an Official Comment Period is the FSR 4517-117 on the Cle Elum Ranger District. If you have comments or concerns that you have not voiced yet, please get them to us as soon as you can, this project will be a CE with no Decision Memo. We received dozens of great comments on these projects from 4WD groups and they have been very helpful in informing the planning team and District Rangers.
Closures (Everyone’s favorite topic)
· Engineers have been surveying 1501, 1703, and 1708. There was also temporary fire access to the 1702. When the concrete barricades are removed for agency personnel, the public has also been taking advantage of this. All of these roads are still closed and for public safety and resource protection we ask that the public continue to adhere to these closures (even if they can physically drive through). Naches knows that PNW4WD represents the most responsible users in the 4WD community and we hope that you continue to spread the word of respecting such closures.
NEPA 101 and Comment Writing Workshop
· Postponed! We will let you know as soon as we have a new date. After the first session, we will also have a powerpoint that groups can use and share on their own.
· The fires on the District are winding down but conditions are still dry. The wilderness fires are still putting up smoke in the afternoon but are within their designated management areas. All of the fires are continually being monitored by aircraft (see Oct. 1 update). Questions or concerns call the Fire Information Line (Michelle King) at 509-653-1420.
· The Gold Hill and Kettle Creek wilderness closures are still in effect.
· Woodcutting season has ended and is not going to get extended.
· Still no campfires- this may change in the next week so feel free to call the fire information line: 509-653-1420 or the front desk: 509-653-1401 for the latest updates.
· Please be careful in the woods! Even with cooler weather, vegetation is still dry and there is very little humidity recovery at night. No one wants to get stuck with a wildfire expense fee.
Feedback Requested from PNW4WD
· The next TWIG meeting is scheduled for Nov. 6th which is also Election Day. Would your clubs still be interested in having a TWIG meeting? We recognize this is an inconvenient time but we also haven’t met in several months. If we do have TWIG, we will make sure to have constant electoral updates (as many of us at the District are political junkies). Please let us know what you think.
· The Tapash Forest Collaborative is a multi-party multi-agency group that supports landscape level restoration on 3 million acres of forest land. Their goal is to strengthen the landscape’s resistance and resilience to the long-term effects of climate change, with warmer, dryer and longer fire seasons. For more information visit: http://tapash.org/index.htm
. Some projects on the Naches R.D. associated with this collaborative are Glass Angel Restoration, Nelli Restoration, and other thinning and fuels reduction projects. The Monitoring Group associated with Tapash is looking for some community and recreational representatives interested in collaboration and future monitoring goals. Participation would be a long and technical commitment, but PNW4WD was selected for their land matters experience and wide recreational representation. If an individual would be interested in serving in the Monitoring Group, please contact Michelle King.
NEPA Planner and Public Information