Truckee River tree toppled |

Truckee River tree toppled

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunA tree that was regularly used to jump off into the Truckee River was chopped down after July Fourth because it was deemed a hazard by Placer County officials.

A dead tree along the Truckee River, which was a popular spot for rafters and rivergoers to leap into the river, was cut down by the U.S. Forest Service soon after the Fourth of July.

The tree, which officials say was felled to assure people’s safety, now lies along the river bank. Its base was severed by a chainsaw.

Forest Service officials said they felled the tree at the request of Placer County. The tree was a “hazard tree,” according to the Forest Service, since many people climbed the tree and risked injury leaping into a narrow, deep section of the Truckee River.

Numerous rafters were plunging into the river from the tree on the Fourth of July. On the afternoon of the holiday several Placer County Sheriff’s deputies who had been observing the activity from the opposite river bank crossed the river and stopped people from climbing the tree.

But the sheriff’s department did not know the tree was cut down.

“We as an agency did not cut it, and we don’t know of anyone who would have,” said Placer County sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Ingalls.

The Forest Service has a policy on the elimination of “hazard trees,” according to the Lake Tahoe Management Unit of the agency.

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