Previously Steve posted this story from OPB that mostly focused on concerns about ODOT’s management of hazard tree removal. There was a link to a letter from a variety of groups which talked about the Forest Service.
There are a number of stories at OPB about ODOT’s efforts and management of hazard tree removal, including hearings with the state legislature.
There was one place in the article in which people agreed:
Law, Till, Ford and Allen all agreed it can take years for burned trees to become hazardous, but the state doesn’t plan to wait that long to see which trees need to be removed.
Andersen said arborists are monitoring trees for a few months to see if they become less hazardous over time but the state is sensitive to the risks involved in leaving potentially hazardous trees standing.
“We wouldn’t monitor for years with safety being the top concern if that tree dies,” he said. “I don’t think anybody wants the unfortunate job of going and telling the family that someone died on the roadway because we were monitoring that tree that inevitably fell during an ice storm.”
But leaving ODOT and going back to “what is the Forest Service doing?”, here’s the Region 6 reply to our questions about roadside salvage.
Last summer’s wildfires burned more than 1.2 million acres across Oregon on federal, state, local, and private lands. In September we stood up a regional Operation Care and Recovery team to coordinate efforts to help our employees, the public and communities impacted, and the lands we manage recover. We have been focused on emergency safety and stabilization actions, including working with ODOT and FEMA to remove dead or fire-weakened hazard trees along roadways and near recreation areas to address safety risks to the public and our employees.
We have been completing this work under emergency response provisions and categorical exclusions.
Below are the links for the danger tree and hazard tree guides. We’re using these along with environmental protection plans and the ODOT protection agreement to guide overall criteria.
- Danger Tree Guide: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd512960.pdf
- Hazard Tree Guide: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3799993.pdf
You can find any Forest Service salvage (or other) projects by going to the forest’s webpage, going to land management on the sidebar and then projects.