Dead Trees Force Closure Of Several Sierra Sites

Bass Lake, Sierra National Park

Several Sierra National Forest camping sites in California are now off limits, according to FOX 26.

This comes after an order to cut down dead trees that could fall on visitors. Leak Pen, assistant district recreation officer for the Bass Lake Ranger District said the ban is in effect now through June of 2019.

Willow Cove Trail on the east side of the lake is one out of 15 sites closed for public safety. She says it’s a matter of spotting and knowing what an unhealthy tree looks like.

“If you see situations where you see a tree that has no needles or the needles are red and dead. What we would call, ‘a burnt orange’. That’s not normal. That is not a live tree,” said Pen. “With a hazard tree, there is more of a likelihood it can fall at any moment. We can have a gush of wind come by and because of the length of time, it has been dead. It has weakened the trunk and it no longer makes it stable. Then therefore, it has the potential of falling.”

Pen says if visitors see cut-up trees are on the ground, that should probably let you know you should turn around.

“The best thing to do is as soon as you come to a site, look-up. Keep yourself as far as away as you possibly can from a hazardous tree,” said Pen.

The Sierra National Forest says it’s trying to get rid of trees that have died from a combination of the drought and bark beetles.

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