Questions for Forest Service supervisor

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Tim Eubanks
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Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by Tim Eubanks » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:41 pm

Chris Ham who is the recreation,scenic river,etc guy at the Ouachita National Forest will be at the June Central Chapter meeting. He will field questions related to our use of national forest resources. Be thinking about what you would like to know. I would like to give him some time to prepare so post questions here or email to timeubanks@yahoo.com.

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sig
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by sig » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:22 pm

Why no beer in the Forest? ;)
Bryan Signorelli

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Tim Eubanks
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by Tim Eubanks » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:44 pm

Question # 1.

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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by BEubanks » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:18 am

What's the policy on access to upper Little MO, Crooked Creek, at high water levels?

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hdh
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by hdh » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:28 am

Background for q1

http://forums.arkansascanoeclub.com/vie ... ed#p146346" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Harlan Dickson Hughes.....If you fly with the buzzards at night, you got to soar with the eagles in the morning!!!!!!

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Tim Eubanks
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by Tim Eubanks » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:59 am

Keep em coming.

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hdh
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by hdh » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:16 pm

Clearing wood out creeks ??? Ie crooked , w/a chainsaw , deadfall
Harlan Dickson Hughes.....If you fly with the buzzards at night, you got to soar with the eagles in the morning!!!!!!

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panicman
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by panicman » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Will the float camps/campgrounds along the ouachita river ever be reopened? Such a waste of such a great camping resourse down there and helps with tourism.

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AR-Nimrod
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by AR-Nimrod » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:30 pm

There were people camped at Dragover last time I was there. I was under the impression that it was closed to camping along with the other USFS float camps.
Chris Crawford

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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by magicmike » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:56 pm

Where can I get one of those cool hats.-M- :grin:
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by Jim E » Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:45 pm

Always scared to ask some "official" questions...afraid of the answers and/or the possibility of opening their eyes to something that they hadn't considered prior. I would tend to ere on "letting a sleeping dog lie"!!!

Just food for thought.
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by Ouachitoff » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:18 pm

hdh wrote:Background for q1

http://forums.arkansascanoeclub.com/vie ... ed#p146346" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I would also love to know what is to become of the Albert Pike campground. The status quo of just leaving it to rot is awful.
A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.
- English proverb

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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by Cowper » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:55 am

I'm sorry I'll be missing this one. Since the intent is to share the questions in advance so that he can be better prepared, I think it is reasonable to ask that he consult up-chain on the access question and give us something that can stand as the current Forest Service position on river and creek access during high water. People have already referenced at least one thread when access was denied at more than one location. We've also got reports of it being denied by officials from different courts - a Forest Ranger, a County sheriff's deputy, a local fire department/search and rescue volunteer.

Beyond us worrying about even being able to pursue our sport, we've now seen cases where boaters are being denied access at the very times that having experienced WW paddlers on the river would be a GOOD thing from the search and rescue view point. The thread linked above talked about boaters being denied access because of a "search and rescue" situation, when that would have been a great time to have more eyes in the woods. A person cut off from their intended path by high water would most likely be found along the banks of a creek they couldn't cross, how could having a group of boaters scout several miles of creek bank not help the process? Following the Little Missouri incident a large group of experienced boaters, fully equipped with WW boats and gear, was sent to search an easier section of the river, while a smaller number of Forest service employees (I heard two) in recreational kayaks searched the more difficult stretch of river. By our standards, the water wasn't even high that day.

This part of our state suffered a one-two punch that has burned itself into the brains of local law enforcement and Forest service officials. (Little Missouri, followed a year or two later by the loss of the AGFC officer and another LEO.) We need to have a frank discussion with whoever will listen about our sport. Both of those incidents happened at night. Neither involved recreational WW paddlers. Both involved floods of epic proportions, not just "local flooding". They should not form a basis for denying access to properly equipped WW paddlers, any more than the next ice storm should lead to immediate closure of all roads, or the next predicted snow storm or other severe weather to closure of all trails.

To get back to the simple "what are your questions" format,
1) What is the current policy for access to creeks during high water?
2) What authority do local FS and county officials have to enforce impromptu local "closures" based on their personal assessment of conditions?
3) Who should we meet with to discuss these issues further?
4) What can we offer to them? (reserved or possibly free spots in paddling schools, Swiftwater training classes for their people, raft rides through the Esses and Falls, etc.)
Trash: Get a little every time you go!

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Tim Eubanks
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Re: Questions for Forest Service supervisor

Post by Tim Eubanks » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:07 pm

Thanks for all the questions. Keep em coming. I will forward to Chris. O

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