Cascade Ranger District crews will be removing a large number of trees suffering from serious infestation -- also known as root rot -- in two popular campgrounds around Lake Cascade late this winter or early spring of next year. The project will change the campgrounds from shady to an open canopy condition, District officials said.
They assessed the Rainbow Point and Amanita campgrounds earlier this year and learned the forest health problem had dramatically increased. Forest employees have been removing hazard trees from the area for several years now, but forestry experts say the scale of the problem has increased beyond what maintenance crews can handle. “The high density of the forest in this area have made the existing trees more susceptible to insects and disease,” said Cascade District Ranger Jake Strohmeyer. “The current situation is very hazardous and the potential for trees to fall, posing a significant risk to visitors using the sites.”
Crews will bring in heavy equipment to safely remove the shade- tolerant Grand and subalpine firs -- as well as older spruce --that are deteriorating. The campgrounds will be replanted with larch, a species more tolerant to insects and disease. Officials said the larch will thrive in the open forest conditions created by removing the dead and dying trees.
“People familiar with the campgrounds will encounter a much different place than what they remember when they return this year,” said Strohmeyer. “However, it will be a much safer place for people to camp and enjoy the outdoors.”
The Forest Service is expecting to have this work completed in time for the 2017 camping season. The status of both campgrounds will be posted on www.recreation.gov.