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  1. #1
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Hurricane damage in North Alabama

    I have uploaded a photo that details the destruction to the trail system in the Sipsey Wilderness of North Alabama. I know several WhiteBlaze members are familar with the Sipsey and thought it might be interesting to share the official NFS report of the trail conditions.
    Here's a shortcut to the photo:

    https://whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...sort/1/cat/500
    Last edited by Uncle Wayne; 02-08-2005 at 03:17. Reason: spelling
    Uncle Wayne

  2. #2

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    Don't look like the FS gets out much - I cleared the north end of 200 back in November - took four days of steady sawing and some comealong work but it was cleared all the way down to the side stream that one has to cross about a mile or so south of the Borden Creek bridge. A lot of good firewood for this coming year for the campsites near the bridge.

  3. #3
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Yeah, it's a little dated

    Quote Originally Posted by Hog On Ice
    Don't look like the FS gets out much - I cleared the north end of 200 back in November - took four days of steady sawing and some comealong work but it was cleared all the way down to the side stream that one has to cross about a mile or so south of the Borden Creek bridge. A lot of good firewood for this coming year for the campsites near the bridge.
    We've done some clearing work also that's not noted on the NFS posting but the work that has been done barely scratched the surface of what is needed. I don't know all the official rules and red tape involved with clearing trails but each volunteer is supposed to be certified to use a saw inside the NF now. I've asked the Forest Ranger if he could declare an "official trail clearing day" that would allow chain saws to be brought in the wilderness to help get the trails cleared. He said it would take an act of congress to get that permission. I asked him if it would be easier to get forgiveness than permission in case I got caught with a chain saw inside the wilderness boundary and he said, "Wayne there is no forgiveness with the Fedral government."

    HOI, thanks for your efforts in our neck of the woods. I wondered if you had been down since the hurricane.
    Uncle Wayne

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wayne
    I don't know all the official rules and red tape involved with clearing trails but each volunteer is supposed to be certified to use a saw inside the NF now.
    IMO the certification requirement applies to crosscut saws but not pruning saws and as a result my favorite saw, the Corona 21 inch Pro pruning saw, can be used in the wilderness area without the certificate. This saw can handle 80-90% of the blowdowns in the Sipsey.

    Now as it so happens I do have a crosscut certificate so if a ranger does happen by and card me I'm covered for the most part - I am sure however that I could still get nailed on technicalities (no 8 inch leather boots for example) but ... its just one risk that I am willing to take. The course and field work for the crosscut certificate are reasonable and somewhat informative. Having the first aid and CPR certificates required also does however raise the price a bit but they are also good to have in general.

  5. #5
    Registered User walkin' wally's Avatar
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    Hi Uncle Wayne,

    Quite a bunch of trees down. I don't think I can complain about the amount of blowdowns I get in "my" section after reading this. I am thankful that I can use a chainsaw too.
    Good luck and be careful to the folks that are working there.

    Walkin Wally

  6. #6
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Default "Experts" coming to help in Sipsey

    HOI (and others interested in the Sipsey Wilderness),

    A friend of mine who attended the NFS saw certification a couple of weeks ago said the NFS have a specialized crew coming in to help with trail clearing.
    Supposed to be here for a couple of weeks and help with trails 201, 202, 223 and 224. 208 was mentioned also but not a high priority this time. I wasn't there so this is second hand info but from what I believe to be a reliable source.
    One other note last week at the Thompson Creek trailhead they were requiring everyone to fill out a camping permit, no fee charged, and were breaking up groups of ten or more. They didn't prevent anyone from hiking or entering the Wilderness but asked each group to limit the party size per campsite to 10 people.
    I asked one of the rangers if they planned on being inside the wilderness to enforce the 10 person per campsite and he said "In the near future."
    Uncle Wayne

  7. #7

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    Well "in the wilderness" can be a rather flexible term - personally I will be quite surpirsed if a ranger goes more than 0.25 miles from the trailhead - for example the large campsites by the Borden Cr. bridge might get patrolled as was noted by walkabout a few years ago. About the only other occassion that I can think of is if the rangers have advance notice of a large group going to a particular spot - for example if they happen to read of a trip being planned by a group on the Internet in a public forum or possibly if they observe two groups filled out the permit for the same area at the same time (unlikely that they would observe this but ...) or if there is reason to believe that a group would violate other laws such as drinking alcohol etc.

    I expect to be checking out 208 this weekend but I won't be doing much if any sawing - my shoulders still have not recovered from last Novembers sawing and until they are completely recovered I don't want to add to the injury by sawing again.

    Which training course did your friend take - chainsaw or crosscut - and how did he like it? I've only taken the crosscut course since that is the only big saw that I use.

  8. #8
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hog On Ice
    I expect to be checking out 208 this weekend
    Which training course did your friend take - chainsaw or crosscut - and how did he like it?
    Are you going with dayhiker and company? He invited me but we already have a trip planned for Parker Canyon this weekend.

    Sorry to hear about your sore shoulder but from the cleaning I saw that was done by you it is no wonder. Hope you're better soon. And thanks again for your effort. We ought to name a trail for you in the Sipsey.

    Actually 3 of my friends were certified in the crosscut training. They all liked the course but all thought it could have been condensed to a 1 day class (8 hours) instead of 1 and a half days (12 hours). But that's the government for you. My wife and I signed up but had a conflict at the last moment and couldn't make it. The next opportunity is in the fall.
    Uncle Wayne

  9. #9

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    yep - I'll be there with dayhiker, walkabout and a fair number of other folks from the TT forum

    I agree with your friends - it could have been handled in a single day

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