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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Who is up for cleaning up the wood this spring before the melt starts? Of highest interest might be the log in primetime but there is also a few pieces above and within the rush that would make the lower section more enjoyable.

I propose the weekend of April 1-2 or April 9-10. Needed are some chainsaws, a couple cum alongs and a few good men or women. To aid in the effort I can procure some beer from new belguim (could make the work exciting) and possibly lodging near the trailhead.

If you enjoy the run, come prove it by putting in some work to keep it kick ass and by making it more safe.
 

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I'd like to help, the 9-10 would be good for me too. How much snow will be there at that time? Is access possible? I hate that f-ing log in primetime and would love to cut it into little bitty pieces.
joe
 

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big south

Count me in too; Ive never run big south, but I might as well run it clean the first time. That weekend will be ok for me.Keep it posted
 

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Would we be hiking up form the bottom? is there a better route in? I'd be more tempted to go a week or three later after the resorts have closed. Seems liek the water would still be low enough.

Ed hanson: is that chainsaw getting any use? Care to donate it to some folks that might clean something I'd actually want to run?

I do have a nice saw that I might be persuaded to loan if I don't make it. Forrest has one that I bet could go for the cause as well.

Dave
 

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I think I might have a chainsaw! that theres standard issue were I'm from that and rifles and fishingpoles.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cool, lets plan on April 9-10 leaving the fort either saturday morning or friday night as schedules allow. Everyone who can bring a saw plan on it. Looks like we have at least a couple.

I'll work on the beer, place to crash, and the rigging and update things as we get closer.

The only access is from the trailhed as long draw road is closed and prime time is a few miles in. There will most likely be snow so bring snow shoes if you got'em.
 

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Is this legal? Sounds like the boaters in AZ (I think) that were blasting rocks to eliminate a portage a few years ago. While you guys are at it, there are are some trees up the road at Cameron Pass I'd like to see cut down that are blocking some great ski runs. I'd think the Forest Service would frown on a pack of chainsaw toting boaters roaming the woods?
 

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You're comparing apples and oranges. The AZ guys used dynamite to blow up a permanent river feature. A few random logs being removed is entirely different. Logs move around a lot at high water and can't be considered a permanent feature. Also, comparing it to cutting ski runs like a ski area is being dramatic as well.
 

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I do agreee with Badkins, however the Park Ranger will not be at all impressed with chainsaws in a Wilderness area. I don't know the actual boundaries, but if prime time is in the wilderness area I would not want to be around when the ranger found the chainsaw party.
 

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I think some post awhile back had an account of some people who've had run-ins with the law while trying to clear out runs. As I recall, the skinny of the thread was that you can cut trees on National Forest Land if they are already dead or if they are a hazard to recreation, as long as you don't operate a chainsaw (yeah, that means doing it by hand) and as long as you leave the wood in the National Forest and don't form any more hazards (blocking trails, etc.). I'm not a hundred percent on this but it seemed reasonable when it was posted earlier (anybody remember the name of the thread?).

COUNT
 

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The Wilderness, big "W," meaning National Forest Service Wilderness (Commanche Peak) encompasses the entire Big South run. Near the top of the run the south (river right) side of the run is the boundry for Rocky Mountain National Park. The gist, chainsaws are illegal in both. That said, the log causing the problem at Prime Time is a fair ways up the trail, especially for winter travelers, and there is a low probability of being caught due to their being one Wilderness ranger for the entire Canyon Lakes Ranger District (four northernmost wilderness areas).

As for cleaning some of the logs out of the Rush things need to be much more stealth. The Rush is close enough to the road that a chainsaw could easily be heard by anyone (including the Ranger) at the trailhead and/or campground. It is LEGAL to remove wood that poses a threat to recreational activities as long as it does not leave the forest and as long as you remove it BY HAND. I believe that all of the logs causing problems up there could be removed with pully systems and or hand chainsaws. It is however way easier to cut things out with a power saw. There is a small log that could easily be removed by hand at Prime Time that would allow safe passage down the right side without removing the giant old growth blocking most of the channel. If there really is going to be this many people to help then it all could be done by hand. Will be cold as hell though.

I'm not trying to advocate either way as it wouldn't really ride on my conscious to cut a few logs out with a chainsaw in a very low travel period for this area. Either way lets get this done because when this bad boy flows this year it's going to be huge and wood could really start to build up if we don't get on it now. I just remembered that Tubular Balls could use some removal as well (Force you found every peice of wood in there last year didn't you, about 3.25 on the gauge and less your trusty small watercraft?). Just some thoughts.

Evan
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This issue of wood removal is complex to say the least. Woody debris is an integral component of mountain channels and supports a diverse habitat. In most instances the best approach is not to remove the wood entirely but to alter it enough to allow safe passage for boaters and then distribut the beta to everyone.

If we really have a lot of manpower it maybe possible to remove/move all the pieces currently causing a safety issue by hand/pulley system without even firing up the saw. And yes river rangler I am intimently aware of multiple pieces of wood up there from my recollections there is about 4-5 pieces that if modified/removed would make the lower run much more enjoyable and lower stress.

Peace,
 

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woody debris

(I'm in agreement with Force.) Woody debris does place an integral role in creating habitat for a range of species. Moving wood out of a boaters path and ensuring safety CAN be done without running a chainsaw. We should nix the chainsaws, just use handsaws for branches, and cumalong the big timber.
I've seen it many times where the chainsaw gusto only creates more rolling log hazards downstream, sometimes making hazards worse. Its important to consider each log/tree your looking at removing in a streambed and play out the hand of possibilities... Lots of times a log across a creek becomes a sediment trap that becomes a big drop later on.
-CraigI
 

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First off Vive I am in. Secondly I dont think that we should eliminate the chainsaws yet. The problem I see is that in the big south these logs dont become big drops later on but rather become big log jams. THis is not what we need. I agree with Evan that we could take the smaller stuff on the far paddlers right channel but the concern here is that another smaller log could move in and lodge against the larger esisting tree, crearing a bigger problem. The current jam in prime time is big and well secured and getting it out might require chainsaws and it might not so bring them if necessary. Also remember there is a good chance there will be ice as we are talking about approx 10,000 feet. My point is this is a good ski in and getting a group together can be challenging so come prepared for whatever it takes, and sure try to follow the rules if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dan,

Agreed. What are you doing in May? I'm trying to put a trip together, you should come.
 
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