Spooky Beaver Crew Update – 06-16-2020

Spooky Beavers: 

1. WE’RE BACK AS OF THIS SATURDAY!  John Stacy, PATC Supervisor of Trails, and I met with Tanya Gossett, the PWFP Superintendent as planned.  We had a good dialogue of the parameters by which we can safely, either individually or in groups of no more than ten people, can return to trail maintenance work.  The Superintendent approved our return to trail maintenance tasks at PWFP as of Saturday, 20 June.

2. CREW OUTING, SATURDAY, 20 JUNE:  There will be a crew outing this Saturday, 20 June.  Take your temperature before you leave the house.  If 100 degrees F or over, or if you feel ill or have been around someone who has,  DO NOT COME. Meet at the PATC shed near the Turkey Run Education Center parking lot by 9:00 am. Wear a mask and keep at least 6 feet from each other (maybe stay in your car until I get there?).  Please RSVP to let me know you are coming.  Again, we want to limit group gatherings to no more than 10 people. If you show up unannounced, you may be asked to individually go check on your trail section and report back its status.  Our tasks for the outing is to check trail conditions so we can develop and prioritize a list of trail maintenance tasks to be done.  We may be doing some water diversion clearing and vegetation control.  For those who have not yet used a gas powered weed whacker or brush cutter, on the job training can be provided.   

3. TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING:  We’ve got a lot of information to digest and discuss before heading back to the trails, including the new memorandum of agreement, the PATC COVID-19 safety plan, the annual work plan, and the Job Hazard Analysis safety guidelines.  To get a head start on disseminating this information to the crew, I’ve scheduled an online Zoom meeting this Thursday from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.  Your choice as to how to connect – PC, tablet, or smartphone.  I’d prefer you connect with a device has a camera as I likely will display certain documents during the discussion.  You can also connect via a voice line only if you like.  If you’ve not used Zoom before, I recommend you hit the Zoom website at https:// zoom.us  and download the appropriate software for your chosen device.  If you would like to check to see if that works okay, send me an email and I’ll set up a quick Zoom meeting so you can get comfortable prior to the meeting.  If you can’t make it this Thursday, I can set up other times.  We will also cover some of this material in person on Saturday.   

Here’s the Zoom invite info:

Topic: Spooky Beaver Back to the Trails Meeting
Time: Jun 18, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5892947810
Meeting ID: 589 294 7810
Voice Dial In:      +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 589 294 7810
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kiUkJYNff

4.  KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER AS YOU HIT THE TRAILS:  Just so you know if you miss the Zoom training and the Saturday crew outing. 

– Read and follow the attached documents, especially the JHAs and the  PATC safety plan (These documents will be attached to this post later).
– The Visitor Center is not currently open.  Email Kerri Syrus at mailto:Kerri_Syrus@nps.gov and let her know the date, time of arrival and
anticipated departure time, and trail location(s) you plan to visit. If you’re planning to park on a fire road, let her know where so she can inform the LE rangers.  Please cc: me. 
– Tell someone at home where you are going and when you expect to be back. Give them the park main number (703-221-4706)  and the NPS regional emergency number – (866) 677-6677)
– DO NOT OVERDO IT OR OVEREXERT YOURSELF! I know we haven’t been out on the
trails in several months, but we need to be sure we are going back in a SAFE manner.  Limit your miles and how much you carry, hydrate well, bring trail snacks, etc.  As the Superintendent emphasized in our meeting, safety comes first, and she accepts that it may take us some time to get the trails back to the condition they were in before COVID-19 hit.
– Check your temperature before leaving the house.  If your temperature is above 100 degrees F, if you feel ill,  if you have been in contact with someone who feels ill, especially if they have or are  suspected to be infected with the COVID-19 virus,  STAY AT HOME.
– No more than 10 in a group, and then break up into groups of two’s or no more than three’s  when you hit the trail
– Avoid busy or heavy traffic trails if you can
– No ride sharing or sharing of food or drink
– Try to limit the sharing of tools; you should be wearing work gloves anytime you have your hands on a tool
– Clean and disinfect all tools and equipment (hand tools, power tool, helmets, etc.)  you touch by hand BEFORE and AFTER using them.  Cleaning materials and supplies are available in the PATC shed. Non-latex disposable gloves are in plastic bin holding the paint supplies in  the hand tool shed.

– Obey social distancing (minimum of 6 feet from other people) and wear a mask.  When you encounter people on the trail, if possible,  step off the trail to maintain the 6 foot distancing. We are NOT the social distancing police.  Do not berate those who choose not to wear a mask, be polite, ask them to maintain the 6 foot distance or ask them to move on.  Remember the wearing of a mask mainly protects them from you. 
– Wash or disinfect your hands upon arrival, as needed during the day, and definitely before you leave the park.
– As soon as practical, please walk your assigned trail section and report back on its condition and what maintenance it needs:  clearing of blowdown, cleaning and re-grading of water diversion devices, vegetation control, blazing, or any erosion control issues that require more than just you to accomplish.
– File a work trip report listing all work that needs to be done 

Drop me a line if you need anything.

Mark Ellis
PATC District Manager
Prince William Forest Park

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