Shelton-Mason County Journal - Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Port of Hoodsport removes park's hazardous trees

 


As the summer recreation season gets underway, the Port of Hoodsport is ensuring its park facilities are safe for visitors after the damage caused by last winter’s storms.

Port of Hoodsport Commissioner Lori Kincannon told the Shelton-Mason County Journal how the port’s 80-acre trail park, which includes the 20-acre Hoodsport Hills Disc Golf course, is awaiting the removal of hazardous damaged trees, along with hundreds of trees that fell during winter storms.

“After a forestation plan, and proper permitting through the state Department of Natural Resources, removal of the fallen and hazard trees was originally planned to start mid-April,” Kincannon said. “But with additional permits, road access, DNR onsite evaluations and equipment breakdowns, the project has been delayed numerous times.”

The project is scheduled to start after the Fourth of July weekend.

According to Kincannon, the work will be carried out in sections, starting in the west parking lot, next to state Route 119, and is expected to take about two weeks to cut and remove trees, then clean up that area of the park.

“The contractor will then move the operation, equipment and landing area across state Route 119, to the east side of the park, near the nine-hole disc golf course,” Kincannon said. “This is where the bulk of the trees and technical cutting are located.”

This area could take as many as another four weeks to complete, before the project moves onto its final area, on the west side of Dow Creek, where the backside of the park will be completed.

“Hopefully by the end of August,” Kincannon said. She said she anticipates the trails should be cleared and ready for the public by the late summer.

“Areas of operation will be clearly marked and taped off for the public’s safety,” Kincannon said. “Everyone is encouraged to stay away from those tree removal operations during this time.”

The Hoodsport Community Trail Park allows visitors to encounter wildlife nesting and habitat areas through its wooded trails. It’s on Route 119, roughly 3 miles west of Hoodsport.

The same large trees that can cause complications in the wake of heavy storms also define the forested park, which was clear-cut during the early 1900s, then significantly thinned in 2011 and 2012 due to root rot in Douglas firs.

“The forest has been partially replanted, and is transforming into a more complex ecosystem,” Kincannon said. “A dense canopy of broadleaf and evergreen trees, along with a lush undergrowth of shrubs and herbaceous plants, provide an excellent area for nature study and outdoor education.”

The Timberland library has joined with the Port of Hoodsport to conduct a “story book trail” along the 60-acre hiking trail, that Kincannon forecast would resume this fall.

The Port of Hoodsport’s more well-known partnership is with the Mason County Disc Golf Association. They jointly completed Phase II, a beginner’s disc golf course on the level 20 acres on the south side of Route 119, adjacent to Lake Cushman Golf Course.

“The disc golf course was designed and developed with volunteer labor from the disc golf community, who maintain the quality and safety of the course throughout its life,” said Kincannon, who noted the course limits its contacts with the park’s hiking trails, allowing hikers to enjoy the 60-acre trail park without interacting with the course.

“The Shelton Disc Golf Club coordinates disc golf clinics and tournaments at the nine-hole disc golf course,” Kincannon added, directing those interested in its activities to discgolfscene.com, masoncountydiscgolf.com and pdga.com. “The course is in a beautiful setting, emphasizing the natural aesthetics of the 20-acre side of the 80-acre park, attracting professional and amateur disc golfers.”

Author Bio

Kirk Boxleitner, Reporter

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
[email protected]

 

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