Spooky Beaver Crew Update – 09-12-2020

Hello, fellow Spooky Beavers:

1.  THE PARK HAS ASKED FOR ASSISTANCE:    Thanks to you and the park staff,
most of the recent  flood damage to the Prince William Forest Park trails,
particularly damaged or out of position footbridges and bog bridges but also
eroded paths, have been fixed.  The Swinging Bridge at the bottom of the
Laurel Loop Tr has been evaluated by engineers, and it’s likely to be
re-opened early next week.    However, the footbridge at the North Valley Tr
(NVT) trailhead next to Burma Rd remains closed as is the trail  section of
the NVT between Burma Rd and Lake One Rd.  The short-term plan is to
rebuild the footbridge with all new bridging material.  The long-term plan
is to relocate that NVT trailhead to the other side of the creek, negating
the need for a footbridge altogether.  Thanks to efforts by Robert F,
PATC Occoquan-Bull Run District Manager and Mike Cu, PWFP  Roads and
Trails, a 0.8 mile alternate path from Lake  One Rd to the NVT  has been
flagged and submitted to NPS for formal evaluation.  There’s also several
short sections along the South Valley Tr where flooding undercut the banks
and now threatens the safety of the paths from below.  Approval to relocate
those short sections is pending. 

There is also a long-distance trail running event on Saturday, 19 Sep. See
attached for the route to be followed.  As such, the park asked the route be
checked and cleared of obstructions by next week.  The following trail
sections need to be checked and cleared by Wednesday, 16 Sep. 

– Birch Bluff Tr – Overseer:  Ralph K
– Laurel Loop Tr – Overseer:  Ralph K
– The Crossings (only the right hand loop and then to the intersection with
Laurel Loop) – Overseer:  Cindy A
– North Valley Tr between Lake One Rd and Pyrite Mine Rd
    – Burma Rd to Quantico Falls  Tr – Overseer:  David R (already
checked)
    – Quantico Falls Tr to Cabin Branch Mine Tr – Overseer:  Dennis C
    – Cabin Branch Mine Tr to Pyrite Mine Rd – Overseers: Mike Ca and
Dave S 
– Turkey Run Ridge Tr – Overseer:  Mark E  (I plan to check and clear my
trail on Sunday)

So, if you are the overseer for these trail sections, please let me know if
you can check and clear your trail section by next Wed, or else let me know
ASAP or no later than  Monday so I can ask other folks to check them for
you, or if you’re available, please REPLY ALL so we don’t have folk checking
the same trail section. 

Finally, if you are available starting next Tuesday, the park staff needs
some help to rebuild the NVT footbridge next to Burma Rd  so it will be in
place before the trail running event.  Contact Mike Cu by calling or
texting to (703) 220-6195.  If you email him at michael_custodio@nps.gov,
your email will likely only be read very early (6:00 a.m.) or late in the
day (3:30 p.m. or so), so calling or texting is preferred.  Please copy me
if you volunteer to work with Mike.  He needs 2-3 folks, so if building a
footbridge with 30 foot long telephone pole  stringers is not your thing,
perhaps you can check a trail section mentioned above instead?

2.  NEW CREWMEMBERS:  Welcome to the following new trail overseers.  Thanks
for joining  the Spooky Beavers, and we look forward to working with you. 

– David R – North Valley Tr – From Burma Rd to Quantico Falls Tr
– Alexander P – Oak Ridge Tr.  Special thanks to Alex as he
convinced his friends Justin and Pat  to help him.

3.  ROAD CLOSURES: 

 – TURKEY RUN RD:  Will be closed starting on 8 Sep on Mondays through
Thursdays due to repaving.  I’ll get back to you as to how to get tools and
equipment from the PATC sheds on those days. 
  – JOPLIN RD (State Route 619 ).  The Virginia Dept. of Transportation will
be replacing a bridge on Joplin Road that spans the South Fork of Quantico
Creek.  . An anticipated completion date has not been determined. Joplin
Road will remain closed to thru traffic until project completion. Park
entrance is accessible via I-95, exit 150B.  You can go past the barriers
heading westbound to get to the Chopawamsic Tr or to Cabin Camps 2 and 5.

4.  MARK YOUR CALENDARS:  Here are our remaining crew work trip dates for
2020:

– 26 SEP –  NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY:  Hopefully the trail sections with
eroded banks will be approve for relocation by then.  We have a couple of
other projects to correct eroded steps.  Please let me know if you are
planning to come.
– 10 OCT
– 14 NOV

5.  COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS:  Masks are still required anytime you are within 6
feet of someone else.  COVID-19 paper  masks and cleaning supplies are in
both sheds.  Please be sure to clean and sanitize any tools you use before
putting them back in the shed or tool cache box. 

6.  PWFP ANNUL PASSES:  Contact Kerri S or Amanda Z  at the
Visitor’s Center if you need a PWFP annual pass. Please contact them before
going to the park as their work hours vary , and the volunteers at the VC
cannot issue the pass.  The VC number is (703) 221-7181.

Kerri Syrus – Kerri_Syrus@nps.gov
Amanda Zimmerman – amanda_zimmerman@nps.gov

7.  NOTIFY THE VC WHEN YOU ARE PLANNING TO WORK ON YOUR TRAIL:  Send an
email to Kerri S or Amanda Z if you are planning to work on your
trail.  Please specify if you are planning to travel through a fire road
gate and park alongside a fire road, and ask specifically that the LE
rangers be notified.  Or stop by and tell the VC staff where you are going.
Check out with the VC if they are still open as you depart the park.

8.  PARK RADIO:  There is a PWFP hand held radio in the Power Tools Shed.
If you are operating a chain saw, accessing a fire road, or as directed,
please take the radio with you on the trail.  Leave it powered off and in
your day pack (ask me how I “hot miked” the park radio system  for three
hours several years ago when I left it powered on in my day pack)  until you
need to use it.  Do not adjust any setting other than the power/volume
switch.  If you need to contact the park staff, either ask for “Dispatch,”
“Law Enforcement”, or the number specifically assigned to each PWFP worker.
Example:  ” Law  Enforcement, this is PATC, over.”  An LE ranger might
respond with “PATC, this is 210, over.”  Then respond with what you want to
tell them.  Keep it brief, to the point, and thank them for their
assistance.  Typical uses so far have been to report entry and exit through
a fire road gate, but if you need help on the trail, do not hesitate to
call.  BTW, Mike Cu’s number is 345.

And as a reminder, put these Law Enforcement phone numbers in your cell
phone contacts.  They typically go to a central NPS  call center in the DC
area that is not at PWFP, so make sure you identify which park you are in. 

– Emergency – (866) 677-6677
– Non-Emergency – (301) 714-2235

9.  WANTED:  Someone to take over management of the Spooky Beaver Crew
website effective January 1, 2021.  If you or someone you know has webmaster
skills, please contact me ASAP. 

10.  THANKS:  To everyone that has pitched in to help after the recent
flooding.  About 25 footbridges and bog bridges were either displaced or
damaged.  Great team work!

Mark Ellis
PATC District Manager
Prince William Forest Park

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