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PWA Trail Maintenance

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PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by BuffTrek on Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:18 am

I was just wondering if you needed to have any special permission to do trail maintenance in NPS controlled grounds - namely Ponca Wilderness Area. It's a little to hot for me to put a lot of miles under my feet but I've been itching to get out and be productive. Anyways, there are a few seldom used trails that I would like to clear out in hopes to redraw a little attention to them for people who would like to have access to other loop options along the BRT. Anyways, two trails in particular are the Clifty Hollow Trail that spurs off of the Centerpoint trail to the right once you finish the first main descent and also the trail that begins where the short Low Gap county road ends(can't remember, I think it's the Kilgore Mountain Trail of the PWA map). Both are riddled with small downed trees from the infamous ice + wind storm, with the latter of the two being on the eastern side of a ridgeline at around 2100'-1900' - definitely has more and larger trees...

Anyways, I don't have a chainsaw - all manual...
Also, at this point I only have some hedge shearers for 1" thick max limbs and a Gerber hacksaw that breaks down to be more easily packed in...
I suppose I'm also looking for a couple good suggestions for trail tools I can pick up on the quick to get in action out there, specifically a well recommended pair of loppers and fast cutting saw to make quick twigs out of all that crap out there!

While I'm at it, how does the man feel about chainsaws - permit required?
I'm just surprised that some of these places haven't been cleaned up more; seems to easy for somebody with a mule to pack in/out tools to get this work done.
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by ouachita hiker on Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:26 am

Buff,

I will state what I have learned:

1. Contact the NPS. I started on the Buckeye Trail without permission but quickly followed up by contacting the FS. The FS wants you to sign a work release. This protects both you and the FS in case you are injured. Just good commonsense.

2. Chainsaws-to operate a chainsaw you must obtain certification! That is with the FS. That means that you must go to one of their certifation schools. My problem it is always offered when I have to work. If the trees are small I wouldn't bother using a chainsaw. Lots of trouble and pain to hump in the saw, gas, bar oil, etc. Buy this instead. I have cut lots of trees with this little saw. Easily packable and amazingly light weight.

3. Also they will require you to send them a report on what you have done. Unless they have a form that they require you to use contact me and I will send you what I use that is easily adaptable and interactive.

4. Here are some tool suggestons. Some tools have improved and all prices have gone up since this was made.

If I can help you in anyway please PM me!
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by BuffTrek on Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:34 am

Thanks for the info.
I actually pulled up the FoOT tools pdf earlier from an earlier post and was going to use it as a suggested tool list - just wondering if I was missing anything other than 23 gallons of water...
I wasn't really considering taking a chainsaw - never actually used one for good purpose - but was wondering for future reference if I was ever able to get a small group together to help.

One other big question - what to do with the debris.
One of the trails is absolutely inundated with trees - just chuck it down the hill, pack out logs, build a fort...? I'm a little lost with this one.
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by ouachita hiker on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:00 am

First of all I would try to get some one else to go with you. What if you get hurt? I have been in situations when I was it! All I can say is don't take ANY chances if you are working alone. Often if I am working alone I will leave the saw at home.

As far as the debris goes. Try to throw it to the downhill side of the trail. If I was closer I would help out. As far as the water goes. Look into buying a water bladder. The last trip into Winding Stairs that I worked I used a insulated Camelbak bladder. I filled it up with ICE then cold water. I had ice left over when I came out in the afternoon. I should have filtered some more water to put in it but I got by.
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by BuffTrek on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:34 am

Oh my, just jokes on the water...
I have both a bladder and a couple Gatorade bottles to take with me, but the damage begins around a mile or so from where I'll be parked(cooler full of water to refill). It would be easy to walk back and forth to my vehicle to resupply water.
Thanks again with all the help!
I appreciate it.
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by Preacha Man on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:48 am

I live right here by you, and I would be willing to go and help out. I am free on Thursdays to Saturday, most of the time Wink at least. I have hiked the BRT, but have only done a few of the other trails around there. I would love to hike a few of the lesser known trails and figure out a way to make new loops. Just let me know when you have a date planned and I will see if I can go.
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by ouachita hiker on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:55 am

Buff,

Dwight would be a good man to have along! I value his help down here! I would recommend that you get in touch with the Park Service and go from there. Or you
could do like I did and just go out and do it! I don't know how the park service does
but the FS values folks that can go out and help out.
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by BuffTrek on Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:59 am

Well, I have 0 weekends off...
My weekends are Monday and Wednesday at this current point in time - pretty much used to hiking solo when not in the company of the ladyfriend because of awkward scheduling.
I appreciate all of the help though!
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by Preacha Man on Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:11 am

Well I can do some Mondays, but I teach a class on Tuesday mornings Wink, but as long as I am back by 9 am Tuesday we are good. Just have to get permission from Mrs. Preacha Man
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by John on Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:48 am

Buff,

If that area is a true designated wilderness area (and I think it is), then only NON-motorized tools can be used for maintenance, according to the rules. But if you contact the Park Service, I'm sure they will mention that.

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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by ouachita hiker on Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:00 pm

John wrote:Buff,

If that area is a true designated wilderness area (and I think it is), then only NON-motorized tools can be used for maintenance, according to the rules. But if you contact the Park Service, I'm sure they will mention that.

Yes I should have caught this! Only hand tools will be allowed. The saw i was talking about is one of the best for one person. Just about anything that can be cut with a crosscut saw can be cut with a fanno. I good sharp crosscut with two people that know what they are doing would be hard to be though. The park service might be willing to loan you a crosscut if you butter them up some! Here the Mena office of the FS will give me just about anything I want because I get it done! I should say my crew gets it done!
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Re: PWA Trail Maintenance

Post by BuffTrek on Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:44 am

Oh yeah, of course!
I should of thought about the non-motorized tools part - thanks John.
And yes, it is designated as a wilderness area.
Anyways, it bears no difference to me, I suppose I need to grab one of these fanno saws within the next week or so. Still going to go out with my 'sub-par' tool so I can convince the ladyfriend of the necessity of bigger and better tools to alleviate 'aches and pains'!
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