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Thread: Thoreau Falls Bridge Removal - 30 Comment Period for Revised Assessment

  1. #46
    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    I have to admit that while I was opposed to the removal of this bridge mainly based on my impression of how the North Fork compares to Franconia Brook and what others have commented on how difficult that ford can be (I have not been in this area in decades), that I found Reasons for Decision under section 3 to be well thought out and explained. I did find the first person to be a little off-putting at first, but personally I think it added to the rationale better than if it had been bland BeaurocroSpeak. I honestly didn't go into the report with an open mind, but am surprised at how accepting I am of the decision in the end.

    Now where's my water shoes....

  2. #47
    Senior Member dailey7779's Avatar
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    I was just at the bridge this morning. There is a sign that says, "Thoreau Falls Bridge Closed, this bridge is not safe and is out of service..." The first fifteen feet or so of the bridge has had all the wood boards and rails removed (done to both sides of the bridge). All the wood has been piled up in the woods just off trail at the crossing. I'll post a link to pics once I have them up.

    I was able to rock hop pretty easily across right in front of the bridge (upstream), with one submerged step, using the bigger boulders. Becca M is right, if you go downstream it widens, becomes shallower, and the current eases, making for a nice cooling wade this time of year. Just upstream there are more options with rock hopping if you are confident in your skills.

  3. #48
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dailey7779 View Post
    I was just at the bridge this morning. There is a sign that says, "Thoreau Falls Bridge Closed, this bridge is not safe and is out of service..." The first fifteen feet or so of the bridge has had all the wood boards and rails removed (done to both sides of the bridge). All the wood has been piled up in the woods just off trail at the crossing. I'll post a link to pics once I have them up.

    I was able to rock hop pretty easily across right in front of the bridge (upstream), with one submerged step, using the bigger boulders. Becca M is right, if you go downstream it widens, becomes shallower, and the current eases, making for a nice cooling wade this time of year. Just upstream there are more options with rock hopping if you are confident in your skills.
    Thankyou for this post and perspective.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  4. #49
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    I'm sure a the trash from the bridge will be left right there,just like Moriah Brook.

  5. #50
    Senior Member dailey7779's Avatar
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    Here are a few pics I took, they're at the top of the blog post so you don't have to scroll and find them http://dailey7779.blogspot.com/2018/...rness-50k.html

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I'm sure a the trash from the bridge will be left right there,just like Moriah Brook.
    They plan to burn everything on site.

  7. #52
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    Sadly, the track record for the prior bridge removal leaves that up for debate on how effectively the work will be completed. After quite long period of time a VFTT member setup a volunteer effort to haul out the junk from the pemi bridge removal and as of last year there still were components of the former bridge littered about. FS priorities change and frequently details to close out the project get curtailed when funding runs out or is borrowed to cover other budget expenses. Supervisors and staff are rewarded for getting the big job done and usually are promoted long before anyone notices that the project wasn't closed out fully.

    Any wood with creosote has to be hauled out as it cannot be open burned. About the only thing that can be burnt is the handrails, deck boards and possibly the approach ramps if they are not treated.

  8. #53
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Sadly, the track record for the prior bridge removal leaves that up for debate on how effectively the work will be completed. After quite long period of time a VFTT member setup a volunteer effort to haul out the junk from the pemi bridge removal and as of last year there still were components of the former bridge littered about. FS priorities change and frequently details to close out the project get curtailed when funding runs out or is borrowed to cover other budget expenses. Supervisors and staff are rewarded for getting the big job done and usually are promoted long before anyone notices that the project wasn't closed out fully.

    Any wood with creosote has to be hauled out as it cannot be open burned. About the only thing that can be burnt is the handrails, deck boards and possibly the approach ramps if they are not treated.
    Maybe it will just be "Historic" and then by Wilderness Ethics it can't be removed like all the logging era so called artifacts.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  9. #54
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    One unintended consequence of the removal of the East Branch bridge has been the creation of more illegal campsites along the abandoned section of the old Wilderness trail.

    I wonder if something similar will happen at the south end of the Thoreau Falls trail.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    One unintended consequence of the removal of the East Branch bridge has been the creation of more illegal campsites along the abandoned section of the old Wilderness trail.

    I wonder if something similar will happen at the south end of the Thoreau Falls trail.
    What area(s) and what rule(s) specifically are illegal? No trail, no 200 foot rule, right? They have that "how far is 200 feet" sign on the not-abandoned section.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    One unintended consequence of the removal of the East Branch bridge has been the creation of more illegal campsites along the abandoned section of the old Wilderness trail.

    I wonder if something similar will happen at the south end of the Thoreau Falls trail.
    There is already a plethora of sites right at the bridge there on both sides of the river.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    What area(s) and what rule(s) specifically are illegal? No trail, no 200 foot rule, right? They have that "how far is 200 feet" sign on the not-abandoned section.

    Tim
    Perhaps I am reading the White Mountain National Forest Backcountry Camping Rules too conservatively.

    I have always been under the impression that you can't camp along the East Branch from the Lincoln Woods TH through to the Thoreau Falls Trail junction [i.e the now doomed bridge]

    ORDER NO.2007-10
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5228790.pdf
    the following acts and omissions are prohibited along the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River from NH Route 112 to Franconia Brook, including islands,
    1. Camping, within 200ft, except at designated sites, (36 CFR 261.58(e)).
    2. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire, OR camp stoves using candles, pressurized liquid or gas, or other manufactured fuels, within 200 feet EXCEPT at designated sites (36 CFR 261.52(a))

    ORDER NO.2007-12
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5228803.pdf
    the following acts and omissions are prohibited along the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River from the Wilderness boundary to its crossing with the Thoreau Falls trail including islands,
    1. Camping, within 200ft, except at designated sites, (36 CFR 261.58(e)).
    2. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire, OR camp stoves using candles, pressurized liquid or gas, or other manufactured fuels, within 200 feet EXCEPT at designated sites (36 CFR 261.52(a))

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    What area(s) and what rule(s) specifically are illegal? No trail, no 200 foot rule, right? They have that "how far is 200 feet" sign on the not-abandoned section.

    Tim
    No Camping, Wood or Charcoal Fires within 200 feet of:
    The following bodies of water:
    • East Branch of the Pemigewasset River from the Wilderness boundary to its crossing with Thoreau Falls Trail, including islands

  14. #59
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Thanks. If I understand it correctly, the abandoned trail is no longer part of any 200' measurement - it is from the river bank instead.

    Is it safe to presume that the predicted increase in illegal campsites is due to the inability to cross the river? It would seem that one would have to head out there with camping gear to avail oneself of an illegal campsite.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    There is already a plethora of sites right at the bridge there on both sides of the river.
    Yes, but I would argue that those camp sites are illegal per ORDER NO.2007-12.

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