Logging of hazardous trees in popular campground near New Meadows completed

Friday February 28, 2020

The Last Chance Campground near New Meadows on the Payette National Forest is near great hiking opportunities and other recreation, but the trees are getting the attention this winter thanks to a partnership with the Idaho Department of Lands and the U.S. Forest Service. The agencies are working together under the “Good Neighbor Authority” to improve forest health.

“The trees were damaged by the Douglas-fir tussock moth. The impacted trees are dying and could pose a hazard to campers this summer, creating the possibility that the campground might not be safe for use this season,” said Stephanie Merrill, Sales Prep Forester with the Payette National Forest.

The project had loggers battling snowy conditions to remove trees. “The snow actually helps protect the ground from being damaged by the falling trees, and prevents erosion, which is important because a creek runs by the campground,” said George Nuesse, Program Specialist with the Idaho Department of Lands. Loggers were very careful not to damage the campground with the help of GPS mapping. The logging is now complete, but other work regarding piles of leftover branches and wood still needs to be done.

The tree removal in the campground is part of the Duck Duck Goose Hazardous Tree Removal Project, with the goal of removing dying trees to promote forest health.

The road to the campground was plowed open for logging equipment access to the site, but motorized public use of the roadway is not allowed at this time.