17 Jun 2009, 8:43pm
Latest Forest News
by admin

Burned Mount Hood area remains closed

By Terry Richard, The Oregonian, June 16, 2009 [here]

In order to protect young emerging vegetation and to prevent erosion of soils within the burned area, most of the area will need to remain closed where the Gnarl Ridge fire burned on the northeast slopes of Mount Hood last summer in the vicinity of Cloud Cap Inn and Tilly Jane.

There is one exception to this area closure. Visitors to Mount Hood National Forest will be able to hike on the Tilly Jane Trail No. 643, a route used to access climbing routes which begin at the Cloud Cap Saddle. The area immediately adjacent to the Tilly Jane Trail will remain closed to public entry.

The Polallie Ridge Trail No. 643-A will remain closed until rehabilitation and reconstruction work is completed. Road 3512, the road to Cloud Cap Inn. will also remain closed until the road surface can be stabilized and culverts replaced.

Once the road work is completed, the road will be able to accommodate recreational traffic. The closed area includes the area east of the historic Cloud Cap wagon road.

Last winter a protective blanket of snow enabled forest managers to open the backcountry to winter recreation. With the blanket of snow now gone, the area is vulnerable to damage.

The area also serves as an important zone of contribution to the Crystal Springs Water District which serves more than 6,000 residents in the upper Hood River Valley. Due to these concerns, the Mount Hood Forest supervisor has decided to keep the severely burned area of the fire closed to public entry during the summer and fall months until snow once again blankets and protects the burned area this coming winter.

Last fall, rehabilitation work such as aerial and hand mulching of severely, burned, erodible soils was completed. However, a substantial amount of work still needs to be completed this coming summer.

For more information, contact the Hood River Ranger District at 541-352-6002.



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