UPDATE AS OF APRIL 1, 2017
This is not what anyone wanted, – it will be get better when weather dries up.
Many members are asking about why there was major logging in Phase 2. There are many answers:
Significant root rot—this is caused by a fungus that feeds on the root structure of specific trees. In our forest these include: douglas fir, hemlock, Western red cedar is not affected by root rot....
Additional causes of root rot are:
droughts and heavy rains of recent years. Droughts weaken and stress trees. When heavy rains fall, fungus is more able to attack the weakened root system
Compacting tree roots—gravel (sometimes left in piles or laid frequently over years that compacts tree roots
Cables tied on trees to support tarps.
Invasive plant life growing on trees
Density of the forest—an infinite number of trees competing for finite resources
Bark Beetle-an ivasive insect. Trees normally surround the insect with sap. Stressed trees do not have the sap to do this.
A second factor in our forest is the natural end of life for trees. Some of the trees in our woods that appear green and healthy are dying from the inside out. In some forests, mother nature takes care of this with lightening strikes, etc.
These concerns about our forest are not new. They were brought to the attention of the membership as long as 25 years ago; however, the membership wished to preserve the forest as long as possible.
So—what happened, why now?
• More trees are dying—meaning branches (big ones) break off (not just in a winter storms—but more frequently)
• Trees are dying from the inside out—tree looks healthy with a nice green canopy but suddenly falls—possibly on your shed, trailer, tent—and you could be in it.
What can I do?
• Remove ropes, nails, hangers, invasive species from trees in the park.
• Avoid compacting roots
• Plant Western Red Cedar and other native plants that are more tolerant of the weather
The decision to cut trees was not made lightly. It was done after considerable research and by recommendation of
• Department of Natural Resources
• Shoreline Management
• Forest Stewardship Plan
Who felt that Skagit River Woods needs considerable tree cutting/removal particularly in phase 2 for the safety of campers and for forest health. The thinning down was actually conservative based on the recommendation from the Department of Natural Resources. One option given was to simply close the park (like Rockport State Park) and let nature take its course, however long that is.
Additional thinning will be necessary in coming years—also for the safety of campers and the forest. There is always a risk of injury being in the forest, we are trying to minimize this. We know that the vegetation that now sees the light of day will flourish quickly. We are looking at planting to fill in. Will it take time to grow? Yes
Is that better than a tree coming down on a member or guest? Yes
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 30, 2017
Dear SRW Campers,
We'll be opening the gates for the park Saturday morning at noon. We apologize for the long wait, but we had some extensive logging this year recommended by Washington State DNR. The SRW forest needs extensive help to become safe and healthy again.
There were trees brought down all over the park but the heaviest impacted area were circles 14, 15, 34, 35, 36, 37,39, and 40. We are in the process of repairing the roads in these circles. As soon as the roads are clear, we will give an update to the campers that had to relocate their campers when it is clear to move back to their spots. Please stay clear of equipment!! The contractor will be busy laying gravel on Saturday morning. If you must visit one of these sites, it must be by foot! And bring your boots. With all the excessive rain, we have to put down fresh gravel down for car access.
There are trees down everywhere! Phase one and two. We have removed and cleaned so everyone is able to get into your circles, but there is still wood everywhere. Complete cleanup will take awhile but there are some things campers can do to assist. Bring your tools! Help us help you! If there is wood in your site, it is yours to keep. If there is wood in the middle of the circle, share with your neighbors. There is also several piles of branches spread around the park, please use it for firewood! The fire pit will be limited this year due to it is full to the brim. If you are unable to cut any wood in your site or need help, please let us know if we can assist. If we work as a team, we can get clean up done faster! We will be cleaning up for a few weeks.
We will be starting water turn on on April 1st, right on schedule. Between repairs and cleaning bathrooms, I estimate complete finish around the April 15th.
Once again we thank every single camper for their understanding and support during this logging season. I understand that not being able to visit has been frustrating, but we did what needed to be done for everyone's safety.
Mandy and Anthony Hale
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 28, 2017
The board has been working with the logging company and the park managers to be sure that the logging needing to be done, to keep the park safe and healthy is taking place. There is still a lot of clean up to be done for the park to be open. Every effort is being made to get the park open, and as soon as we have a firm date a notice will be posted on the web site and facebook.
Sites that have had tree removal requests approved will be given additional time to take the trees down.
As mentioned previously, the weather has been unusual and unpredictable this year – and we have taken down more trees than in the past. We are following recommendations from the DNR, Shoreline Management and the Forest Stewardship Plan – and there is still more work that will need to be done in the future.
Please know that the board is working hard at keeping the park a fun and safe place to be, we are also looking forward to being able to get back into the park.
UPDATE AS OF MARCH 8, 2017
Have you joined the Skagit River Woods private group page yet?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/84425195527/ -- note: this Facebook page is for current Members only.
We would like to bring attention to a concern with many of the trees within our park. When working with loggers this past month, we have noticed a large number of trees have been killed or are dying because of wires or ropes tied around them, essentially “choking” them. Most of these wires/ropes are there to hold up tarps at campsites.
We realize that many members may not know this is a problem, but we would like to address it as soon as possible. The logging of these dying trees will continue to be an ongoing (large) expense for our park for many years to come, if it is not addressed very soon.
Simple solution: Take down all wires and ropes and replace with screw in eye hooks as soon as possible! If the bark has not been severed around the tree, it may be saved! Save our funds for other improvements! Let us know if you have questions!
We have had members suggest proposing an update to our bylaws to make the cutting of these trees the individual member’s responsibility/expense if trees continue to be choked off by cable or ropes.