Seasonal closures for Port-Orford-cedar protection

Release Date: Oct 7, 2016

EUREKA, California, October 7, 2016 – Six Rivers National Forest Supervisor Merv George Jr. announced today that with the onset of the rainy season, some roads and campgrounds in the central and northern parts of the forest will close to motor-vehicle use to reduce the risk of spreading Phytophthora lateralis (PL), the non-native pathogen that causes Port-Orford-cedar (POC) root disease.

These seasonal road and campground closures are in effect until road surfaces dry out in late spring or early summer, minimizing the potential spread of the disease. Under wet conditions, pathogen-laden soil can be spread from infested to non-infested areas. The pathogen (or spores) live in water and wet soil, and are easily transported by vehicles, including mountain bikes, off-highway vehicles, and heavy equipment. Animals, such as horses and dogs, and people can also transport the spores.

“Even if you’re just hiking in these wet areas, cleaning off your muddy boots before walking behind a closed gate can prevent the spread of the disease from one watershed to another,” said Jeff Jones, the forest’s vegetation program manager. He added, “It’s important to observe these POC road closures, because the pathogen generally doesn’t spread into areas where there is no access.”

Port-Orford-cedar trees infected with the disease will die - young trees die within a few months of infection and mature trees within two to four years.

There are many infested areas on the Gasquet Ranger District/Smith River National Recreation Area (NRA) and in the Bluff Creek drainage on the Orleans Ranger District. Once introduced into a non-infested area, the disease spreads via water flow or by root contact.

The following roads and campgrounds will be closed with the onset of fall rains, but will reopen in late spring/early summer once the roads have dried out:

  • Gasquet Ranger District/Smith River NRA: Forest Service Roads 18N17 and spurs; 18N16 and spurs; 18N02; portions of 18N07; the upper section of 18N08; 16N02, about 9 miles up and spurs beyond that point; the upper section of 16N03 and spurs; the upper section of 15N01, about 11 miles up and spurs beyond that point; and 14N01, about 4 miles up and spurs beyond that point; plus additional road closures on smaller routes not specified in this notice.
  • Orleans and Ukonom Ranger Districts: Forest Service Roads 13N01, 10N12, 10N42, 10N27, 10N14, 10N42, 11N28, 12N11, 14N02, 14N03, 13N17, 14N21, 11N47, 12N17, 11N04, 11N16, 11N49, 11N14, 10N06, 10N04, 12N10, 12N13, and all side roads off of these main roads, as well as Fish Lake Campground.
  • Lower Trinity Ranger District: Forest Service Roads 05N10, 06N18, 06N21, 06N22, 06N36, 06N38 and 07N71B, as well as East Fork Campground.

Port-Orford-cedar is not found on the Mad River Ranger District, the forest’s southernmost district.

Information about Port-Orford-cedar is available at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/srnf/PortOrfordCedar or by contacting Jeff Jones at (707) 441-3553.