Forest Health Improvements Temporarily Close Portions of Bankhead National Forest Trail

(Double Springs, AL) January 6, 2014 - Beginning January 6, a U.S. Forest Service improvement project will temporarily close portions of the Key Mill Loop (orange diamond blazes) east of Owl Creek Road 262 (Forest Service Road) on the Owl Creek Non-Motorized Trail System located in the Bankhead National Forest.  The project is intended to enhance forest health, wildlife habitat and public safety. While forest operations are being conducted, visitors will notice signs on the closed portions of the trail and be rerouted to Owl Creek Road 262.  The operation is expected to last no longer than two months. 

According to acting district ranger Eric Schmeckpeper, forest operations will consist of commercial timber harvesting to thin areas that will improve forest stand health. An environmental analysis identified the harvesting will reduce the risk of southern pine beetle infestations in trees and promote the restoration of native forest communities that provide benefits to wildlife.

Visitors should anticipate additional traffic in the vicinity of Owl Creek Horse Camp. Current information regarding the Owl Creek Non-Motorized Trail System can be found on the National Forests in Alabama website at under the “Know Before You Go” section.  Contact the Bankhead Ranger District at (205) 489-5111 for more information.