Popular forest area will be closed | SierraSun.com

Popular forest area will be closed

Sun news service

A temporary closure will be in effect from April 14 to June 1 in the Tahoe National Forest in a popular recreation area south of Highway 20 near the town of Washington. The area will be closed during a helicopter logging operation so that hazardous trees can be removed to protect the South Yuba Canal canal from blowouts.The general area is south of Highway 20 from the Washington Road – Skillman Campground area, extending south into the Burlington and Lowell Hill areas.This closure does not affect the Pioneer Trail, according to Jeannie Masquelier, the district ranger, but the area is popular for off-highway vehicles, bicyclists, and hikers. Roads and trails will be signed, and law enforcement will be enforcing the closure. Forest officials hope to have the work done in three weeks, but weather and mechanical problems could extend the time period.The South Yuba Canal provides water to much of western Nevada County. Trees with structural defects close to the canal frequently fall and damage it, causing disruption of flow to consumers and locally heavy erosion problems. PGandamp;E will be using both helicopter and tractor logging to complete the job.Trees will be cut within approximately 150 feet of either side of the canal along an estimated 11.6 miles in the forest.Maps of the affected area are available at the front desk of the Tahoe National Forest, 630 Coyote Street, in Nevada City and on the TNF Web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe.For questions, call Bob Davis, Joe Chavez or Masquelier at 265-4531.