Over the past couple of weeks, several people have chosen to go through the clearly marked closures on the 600 (Patterson) Road while the logging crews were actively working. People who enter this closure area travel directly through/around high visibility barriers and signs on barricades placed in the roadway.
While you may not hear harvest activities from the closure location, this does NOT mean that harvest operations are not occurring. For example, the saw could be turned off temporarily during cutting, or the closure could be located some distance from the harvest area. Logging crews often work on weekends, evenings, and early mornings!
We have also been having lots of problems with people removing closure information, signs and markings, which has led other people unknowingly entering closure areas on several occasions. We replace these materials as soon as we catch them, but please be aware that this could occur, and review the closures online before heading out on your visit. On-line materials are kept up-to-date.
Logging has been identified as the job with the highest fatality rate in the US. Logging crews have extensive communications and safety protocols in place to operate as safely as they can. People passing through an active harvest site without the benefit of those protocols are putting themselves - AND the harvest crews - in extreme danger.
Here are the hazards associated with harvest areas:
- Trees falling, sometimes across roads and trails
- Large machinery moving around and transporting logs
- Compromised ability to communicate hazards due to loud noises and distance
- Danger to harvest crews while trying to respond to unpredictable hazards associated with untrained people passing through the area
This weekend, Benton County Sheriff's Department will be on-site to cite people going through the closures.
We recognize that the vast majority of people receiving this e-mail are entirely respectful of the closures on the Forest. THANK YOU!!! We could really use your help in passing this message along within your communities to try to reach the very few folks who are violating these closures.
Why are closures 24/7, and why are they so big? Check out these Frequently Asked Questions
Please let us know if you have questions or ideas, and thank you for your help