Stub trails CLOSING for forest thinning starting November 2017

From November 2017 thru February 2018, Stub Stewart State Park trails will be closed for forest thinning (using heli-logging operations to limit trail impact).  This will result in improved forest health and a better riding experience.  Stub volunteer work parties will start in March – April timeframe to restore any affected trails.

Safety will be our number one concern during operations.  So that means trails at Stub Stewart will be closed to all users and volunteers…” – park manager Dan Quigley

November – December  closed MondayFriday.   Subject to change!  Check Oregon State Parks web page for the latest information.

January closed all month including Banks-Vernonia Trail between Buxton and Tophill.

February closure depends on progress of the operation.

At long last, the forest health thinning project at Stub Stewart State Park will begin in mountain biking area!  We have two trail work days in October (event sign-up info: 10/14 and 10/28) to establish a new trail in the skill area, but after that we won’t be doing anything until spring when thinning operations have completed and then we’ll focus on revitalizing the trails to prep for 2018 riding season.   There is much to look forward to in the years to come with trails at Stub Stewart State Park, but this Spring 2018 we’ll very much need help to revitalize trails after planned forestry management operations are completed.

This phase of Stub Stewart State Park tree thinning activity was a long time in coming, and we’ve known since beginning project work at Stub in 2007 that the park would eventually need to thin trees within the mountain biking area.   Several years ago some of the thinning was done near Hilltop Day Use Area and the camping areas, but this next round of thinning will impact majority of the areas where the shared-use and mountain biking trail networks are located.  

We support this!  NW Trail Alliance and the local volunteer steward team (including the Westside Trail Federation trail build leaders) support the forest management decision!  We are very glad that Oregon State Parks has decided to use heli-logging because that will greatly limit the impact to existing trails and infrastructure.

Got Questions?  Here’s some answers…

Park rangers have informed us that the total acres to be thinned will be about 560 with 25-40% trees removed depending on the stand.  It is estimated to be 1.8 million board feet of timber and that equals about 1 log truck load per acre.  The size that the helicopter can handle is about 18-20 inches in diameter.  This process lifts one tree at a time without tree ever falling to the ground so ground disturbance is minimal and trail disturbance should be next to nothing.

Not familiar with heli-logging operations?  Here’s a good documentary on YouTube (jump to 18:50 to watch operations) —https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1cy4uZhQxU

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Here’s is the full news about this forest management activity directly from park manager Dan Quigley:

This email is to inform you of an upcoming project scheduled for the winter of 2017/2018.  Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is currently planning a forest health thinning project at Stub Stewart State Park. 
 
What you may expect over the next several months at Stub Stewart:
 
·         Foresters have begun and will continue to work in the area over the next several months.  They will be collecting data, walking boundaries and marking trees in specific areas of the Park.
·         Road improvement efforts will be under way over the next several weeks to facilitate harvest operations.  Expect increased rock truck traffic on Hoffman and Bacona Roads while these operations are underway.
 
The purpose of this project is to improve forest health and increase biological diversity.  Overcrowding of trees within the park is a problem for both the forest and visitors.  Thinning this forest will; provide the residual trees with more sunlight and nutrients allowing them to grow more healthy and vigorous, increase understory vegetation biodiversity, and reduce the potential for and impact from hazard trees.
 
Operations are expected to begin in November of 2017 and come to completion by late February of 2018.  Trees will be harvested by way of helicopter logging techniques.  This will allow OPRD to thin a large portion of the park with minimal disturbance to the ground and surrounding forest.  Safety will be our number one concern during operations.  So that means that all trails at Stub Stewart will be closed to all users and volunteers from November through February, 7 days a week. During the month of January the closure will extend to the Banks Vernonia trail between Buxton and Tophill. Operations in the Stub Stewart camp ground will be limited in December and January to reservations already in place and no more can be made at this time. Helicopter operations will not be conducted in weather conditions that are not suitable for flight.  Furthermore, all helicopter operations will be limited to the park boundaries.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the L.L. Stub Stewart Management Unit at the phone or address below for further information.
 
Sincerely,
Dan Quigley
Park Manager
Stub Stewart State Park
30380 NW Hwy 47
Buxton, OR 97109
503-324-0606 x222
503-528-4028 Cell
daniel.quigley@oregon.gov