Helpful Info About Downed Trees on Roads

Updated on: 03/30/2021 - 13:32


These sunny spring days means more and more of us are seeking outdoor opportunities! However, while enjoying the forests, you may continue to encounter downed trees on roads and trails.

We wanted to use this Forest Update to share our strategy for prioritizing and clearing roads. In general, we prioritize all roads that end with 00 (e.g., 500, 700 roads, etc.). These roads are our mainline arteries through the Forest. Then we drop down to the roads ending in tens (e.g., 510, 840 roads, etc.) -- then we address roads ending in single digits (e.g., 514, 681 roads, etc.) These aren’t hard and fast rules; sometimes we make efficiency calls if we are close to a mainline and it would take more time to return to the location than clear the downed tree.

Confused by all these road names? Click here for a map of the McDonald Dunn.

Another big priority is clearing roads that need to be used for management and research activities, such as an upcoming herbicide spray, planting, or harvest. And some areas may need to wait for drier weather. For example, some of our natural surface roads are wet and muddy, so it’ll be safer and more efficient to wait for them to dry out.

Most importantly, as a forest visitor we ask you to never cut standing or down trees to help clear the roads and trails. We often try to salvage the downed timber and rogue cutting has the potential to compromise the value of the timber. Instead please report the downed tree:

  • Notify our forest staff
  • Explain the issue. Describe the situation and type of hazard in as much detail as possible (e.g., send an estimate of the diameter of the tree at breast height)
  • Report the location. If possible report GPS coordinates, or specify the location on the trail, and/or estimated distance from nearest access point
  • Take a picture-- pictures can provide us with important information about the situation and determine what tools will be needed to solve the issue
  • Include your own contact information so we can reach you if more information is needed

We promise to address reported trees as soon as we can – especially once we consider it within our prioritized downed tree list and other work responsibilities.

THANK YOU for helping to be our eyes and ears on the Forest. Happy trails (and roads)!