Spooky Beaver Update – 03-25-2019

Hi, folks, here’s the latest for the Spooky Beaver Crew:

1.  NEW LOCK AND COMBINATION:  There’s a new all-weather lock on the tool cache box.  The combination is the reverse of the previous
combination. 

2.  COMPREHENSIVE TRAIL PLAN:  The long-awaited Prince William Forest Park – Comprehensive Trail Plan / Environmental Assessment is available for review and comment at: 

https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=197&projectID=78405&documentID=93638

There’s lots of good things to read about:  New hiking, biking, and
equestrian trails; formal recognition and environmental assessments of the
existing paths; and identification of existing paths that need to be closed
and relocated.  

I suggest you review the documents and note what the park envisions for your trail section and other paths in the park.  Keep in mind, it’s a plan at
this point, and subject to change due to public comments, funding, National
Park Service priorities,, etc. Then, the regulatory review processes will be
identified, the timeline for when the work will get done, and who will do it
still need to be worked out.

I am heartened by this plan as it will help PWFP prioritize the valuable
work that we do for them and the public.  I am happy there is
acknowledgement of trail sections in the park that should be abandoned and relocated due to severe erosion.  I envision PATC will continue to focus our volunteer efforts on the hiking paths, and leave the development and
maintenance of the biking-only and equestrian-only trails to the park staff
and volunteers from those outdoor recreation communities.  

As members of the public, you are welcome to provide any comments you wish to make by April 18, 2019.  I will be working with PATC leadership to
provide formal comments from the club.

If you have any comments that you would like me to include in the club’s
formal comments, please email them to me by April 5.

3.  UPCOMING WORK TRIPS:

    a.  SATURDAY – 30 MARCH – SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH DISTRICT:
You may not be aware, but the South District of SNP has been closed since
the Federal government shutdown started, and did not re-open because of
continuing adverse weather events that created a downed-tree situation that rivals or exceeds the PWFP “Treemagedeon” of 2018.  Volunteers are needed to clear trails of broken limbs and to assist with sawing operations.  We’ll be working with hand tools only (mainly Corona hand saws and loppers).  The terrain is steeper than PWFP, but the views are spectacular.  At the moment, the weather is expected to be clear and in the 60’s.  Hiking mileage is as far as we care to hike in and then back out.  If interested, please let me know by Wednesday evening, and I can provide more information on carpooling and where to meet. 

   b.  SATURDAY – 13 APRIL – SPOOKY BEAVER CREW WORK TRIP:  Crew work day.  The usual…show time by 9:00 am, email me if you’d like help on your trail section.

    c.  SATURDAY – 11 MAY – SPOOKY BEAVER CREW WORK TRIP:  The usual…

    d.  SATURDAY – 1 JUNE – NATIONAL TRAILS DAY / SPOOKY BEAVER CREW
WORK TRIP:  As in past years, we’ll be inviting members of the public to
come out for a day of trail maintenance work.  Need to know by the end of
April what specific trail projects you would like to help on for this event.
Due to other events in the park that day, we’ll be staging out of the
Telegraph Road picnic area parking lot.  Show time is 8:00 am.  

3.  OF FORM 301A/JOB HAZARD ANALYSIS:  If you have not sent me a signed OF 301A for 2019 or acknowledgement of the Job Hazard Analysis I sent out
earlier, please get those to me ASAP.  

4.  PARKING PASSES:  If you need a new PWFP parking pass, please stop by the Visitor’s Center on Saturday (see Kaley) or Sunday (see Kerri Syrus).  If
you can’t make it those days, let me know and I will make alternate
arrangements.  

5.  THANKS:  For all you do to keep the hiking paths of PWFP safe for
visitors.  Drop me a line or give me a call if you need anything.

And if you’re planning to attend any of the work trips, especially the one
in SNP, please let me know.

Mark Ellis
District Manager
Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
Prince William Forest Park

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