Public input invited after tornado damages forest
Houston County Courier
The U.S. Forest Service will hold a public meeting to discuss the recent tornado damage to the Davy Crockett National Forest. The meeting will be at the Davy Crockett Ranger Office May 13 from 10 a.m. to noon. Since the storms, Forest Service employees have been assessing roads, recreation areas and damage to endangered red-cockaded woodpecker clusters. Damaged areas have been mapped and inventoried. The purpose of the meeting is to receive public input on how to decrease the build-up of undergrowth, while improving safety and aesthetics in certain areas of the forest as a result of the tornadoes. The tornado damage has been characterized into three categories: -- Severe damage – Greater than 60 percent of the trees in an area were uprooted, broken off, or root-sprung. -- Moderate damage – 30 to 60 percent of the trees in an area were uprooted, broken off, or root-sprung. -- Light damage – 10 to 30 percent of the trees in an area were uprooted, broken off, or root-sprung. According to Ranger Gerald Lawrence, the U.S. Forest Service is proposing to remove the damaged timber from areas that received moderate to severe damage. All actions involved in the removal of the damaged trees would be implemented following standards and guidelines in the 1996 Revised Land and Resource Management Plan for the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. For more information, contact Lawrence at 936-655-2299.