The first ice storm occurred on November 14, shirring off tree tops and toppling hundreds, if not thousands of trees on the Blue Ridge Parkway/Jefferson National Forest and the Skyline Drive/Shenandoah National Park. Shortly after, the federal government shutdown closed Shenandoah National Park for 6 weeks. Then additional natural events, including the ice storm of February 10, exacerbated the amount of debris littering the trails and roadways. Park personnel have been working diligently to tackle the 900+ trees downed from Swift Run Gap to Rockfish Gap. Private contractors and additional help from George Washington Parkway crews have worked for weeks and months to haul away branches and trees, and to remove broken limbs in the canopies. And volunteers have put in countless hours to do their part - swamping branches, trees, and blowdowns along the Appalachian Trail and the hundreds of side trails. We thank all of the SNP and NFS personnel, private contractors, and the volunteers, many who are PATC trail overseers and members from the Charlottesville Chapter, Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter, and beyond. To name a few of those volunteers that we are aware of: Jean Enzbrenner, Gary Flynn, Brooks Fulton, Margaret Helber, Jim Fye, Jeff Monroe, Lindsay Brown, Marit Anderson, Mark Perschel, Bill Holman, Mark Walkup, John Stacy, Barry Buschow, Stephanie Danahy, Lynn and Malcom Cameron, Lori Silvestri, Jean Stephens, Tom Engle, Don Blume, Richard Hottel, J. and B. Todd. It has been a long hard winter, but slowly the trails are improving. We hope the SNP southern section will be open soon!
submitted by Marit Anderson
|The crew that cleaned up Wildcat Ridge Trail|
|Clearing the section from Blackrock Hut Parking Area on the AT to the Blacwater Hut Access Trail|
|Working with the Blue and White Trail Crew with crosscut saws on the Turk Mt. Summit Trail|
|Joining forces with the Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter to remove debris from Pinefield Gap to Ivy Creek Overlook|
|Mark and Marit just got their SNP chainsaw certification, so they can now help saw in the park. Yay!|