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

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    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
    It is my impression that there has been a significant increase in camping along the East Branch along the section of the Wilderness Trail that was abandoned. i.e along the north side of the river that can be accessed via the decommissioned trail beyond the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad Trestle # 16 over the Black Brook.

    I could easily see the spur to the Thoreau Falls bridge being decommissioned and the same thing happening there.

  2. #62
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    Yes, but I would argue that those camp sites are illegal per ORDER NO.2007-12.
    What does Order No. 2007-12 say? Thanks in advanced. Iím too lazy to try to find it.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  3. #63
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    One could easily go as far as to suggest an area be closed to people. (This is not a new idea. It has been done in some areas of the National Forest, notably in sections of El Yunque, in Puerto Rico.) So for example, in the Thoreau Falls case, one could remove the bridge, and also remove the trails. And consider banning human entry. THAT would be consistent.
    I wouldn't be surprised if this is where things end up in 30 or 50 years. Anyways, I'm not sure if the kids currently growing up glued to their phones will notice. They will probably be content visiting the area virtually if they somehow feel a need to do so.

  4. #64
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    It would require a major revision to the wilderness act. One of the requirements is that public access has to be retained for designated wilderness's. At one point in the mid eighties permits were required to get into the Great Gulf and that approach is used elsewhere.

    Realistically IMHO, the FS is using the guided "entropy" approach. Pull the means of accessing the area, switch over to minimal signage, blazing and maintenance and public use drops. Add in increased climatic activity which means more tropical storms and hurricanes which trash the trail network and the need to exclude people from the area is really not needed as few will go there. Of course if folks do elect to go in these area make a nightmare for S&R. That experiment was started in the Dry River a few years ago.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    What does Order No. 2007-12 say? Thanks in advanced. Iím too lazy to try to find it.
    Are you teasing me?

    See post # 57.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    I believe there is a place for "true wilderness," even here in the NE. It would be quite feasible to set aside an significant area and have NO man-made features in it. One could easily go as far as to suggest an area be closed to people. (This is not a new idea. It has been done in some areas of the National Forest, notably in sections of El Yunque, in Puerto Rico.) So for example, in the Thoreau Falls case, one could remove the bridge, and also remove the trails. And consider banning human entry. THAT would be consistent.
    In Baxter SP, the Klondike area is effectively closed to people.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    Yes, but I would argue that those camp sites are illegal per ORDER NO.2007-12.
    I was referring to the sites that are currently there by the TFT bridge. The ones to the east of the bridge are completely legal. The ones to the west of the bridge are not. I don't really see the number of sites there increasing given that's where people were camping before the bridge was closed and usage of the area probably won't be increasing now.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    In Baxter SP, the Klondike area is effectively closed to people.
    I agree its effectively closed due to its inaccessibility and the rule that camping is only allowed at designated campsites in the park but its not officially closed as far as I know. Folks do on rare occasions visit it, via the slide on the East face of Coe



    I plan to attempt a visit to the ravine this fall.

  9. #69
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Murphy View Post
    Are you teasing me?

    See post # 57.
    No I'm not teasing. I said I was lazy. Sorry I missed your post. Send me to VFTT jail. I'll do better next time. I promise.
    Last edited by skiguy; 05-30-2018 at 10:57 AM.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  10. #70
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    Looks like the paper work for the foregone conclusion has finally been completed

    http://www.nhpr.org/post/dilapidated...moved#stream/0

    Wonder if the debris removal will go as well as with the last bridge
    Last edited by peakbagger; 09-27-2018 at 12:22 PM.

  11. #71
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    So one of the ten essentials is to know the precipitation forecast and its impact on rising waters? Given the bridge's location, I suspect it's primarily used by backpackers, who may not have been able to check the latest forecast for several days. Precip forecasts can change significantly in 48 hours. This seems to be an acknowledgement that the crossing is dangerous while simultaneously putting the blame on any future victims. It would be more respectable if they just said 'we're removing the bridge to make the area more wild - deal with it'.
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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    So one of the ten essentials is to know the precipitation forecast and its impact on rising waters?
    I feel like that should be a skill anyone who ventures out should have. Always chalked that one up to common sense: rain makes waters rise, regardless of forecast. It stands to reason if you crossed the north end of the trail you'll have no issues crossing at the south end. If you're at the south end and can't cross you have options of other trails to use. If you had to use the North Fork bridge and whack at the north end you're probably not making a good decision to continue to the south end expecting a reasonable crossing. There are safe alternatives for pretty much every route this bridge factors in to.

  13. #73
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    So one of the ten essentials is to know the precipitation forecast and its impact on rising waters? Given the bridge's location, I suspect it's primarily used by backpackers, who may not have been able to check the latest forecast for several days. Precip forecasts can change significantly in 48 hours. This seems to be an acknowledgement that the crossing is dangerous while simultaneously putting the blame on any future victims. It would be more respectable if they just said 'we're removing the bridge to make the area more wild - deal with it'.
    Added to the ten essentials? this is a skill that should already be owned. I find the augments for the bridge and the last one interesting. Crossing rivers and streams is wilderness travel 101. I've been doing it for 40 years, to be honest it's a fun exercise. I've spent over an hour trying to cross streams safely in the past. Bridges help, no doubt, many wish they were plentiful and at all major crossing's. I absolutely loved the long one. But, the only liability for water crossing's falls on the crosser, plain and simple. It will be as if the bridge never existed.

  14. #74
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    I found this interesting:

    As mentioned in Issue 1, safety is not an appropriate consideration when
    analyzing actions (or no action) in wilderness.
    As noted in the DDN (p.
    7), there is one reference to safety in the Wilderness Act of 1964 which
    refers to responding to an emergency situation, but not the prevention of
    risk. On the contrary, wilderness provides outstanding opportunities for
    solitude or a primitive and unconfined recreation, and is undeveloped -
    essentially without permanent improvements or modern human
    occupation.
    Removal of the bridge without replacement, follows law, policy, and
    management guidance to, above all other values, protect wilderness
    character. The absence of a bridge offers a remote wilderness experience
    to visitors where they may choose a level of risk in a primitive setting that
    is acceptable to them personally. Wilderness values are protected by the
    removal of a structure that currently makes crossing the river more
    convenient, but is not essential to the administration of the area as
    wilderness.
    The EA includes extensive discussion of the river ford. The current and
    depth of the water at Thoreau Falls may or may not eliminate this hike a
    majority of the year; that decision will depend upon each visitor’s
    determination of acceptable risk. During a recent assessment by Forest
    Service staff, it was determined that wading across the river at this
    location is possible during typical flows encountered in summer and fall,
    but the risk levels increase substantially during and shortly after storm
    events and during snow melt when stream flows are moderate to high
    (EA, p. 2). During the season of primary use, which is July – September,
    there is little evidence of flows near this level (above 300 cfs). While the
    river is prone to rapid rise and fall in response to storm events, crossing
    during times of low to moderate flow (below 300 cubic feet per second) is
    considered lower or moderate risk (EA, p. 6).

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/ww...T3_4425795.pdf

  15. #75
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    I was talking specifically about the 10 essentials: http://www.hikesafe.com/index.php?page=full-gear-list

    I am all for having survival skills, but at least add the bit about knowning the future to the list!
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