- Temporary Port Gamble trail
closures for timber thinning -
Pope Resources will be doing some timber thinning starting probably in March and running throughout the end of the year. They'll do a combination of pre-commercial thinning (cutting really small trees & leaving them in the forest - approximately 375 acres) and commercial thinning (thinning medium trees that have some harvest value - approximately 500 acres). There will be rotating trail closures where they'll be doing the work. Just like when the lettuce in your garden is too close together and you pull up the skinny ones to give the others room to grow, a timber farm does the same thing but their crop is bigger and takes 40 years, not 4 months to grow!
Here's a map of what's planned, if you click on it you can see more detail. The exact dates of trail and trail head closures aren't known yet but we'll have updates on our website and Pope Resources will have the most current information, including when specific trails and trailheads will be closed and when they are reopened on their website.
Most of the work is in the south half of the trails, so if you arrive at your favorite trailhead and it's closed, head north to another open trailhead and explore some north end trails. Maps are at every trailhead, so take one with you if you're exploring new territory. Trail access will continue to be permitted in areas not subject to active harvesting operations.
The timber crews are scheduling their work around all of the trail events, so those will proceed as planned. And the Uplands Trailhead and the new County Shoreline Park trailhead will remain open the whole time. The trailheads at Stottelmeyer and Port Gamble Road will have some total closures, and there will be rotating trail closures in the area south of the Shoreline Park and "Downhell".
Remember, 86% of the Port Gamble trails are owned by Pope Resources and we're guests on their private tree farm. If the sign says trail closed, it really means it, for your safety and those of their contractors. The work is expected to be finished by the end of 2015, so don't worry, your favorite trail will be open again soon. Please stay safe and stay out of their way!