Train derailment, fuel spill near Mill Creek area- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Train derailment, fuel spill near Mill Creek area

    I was planning an ORAMM recon ride tomorrow, but saw this:

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article...NEWS/306180036

    Anyone know if it's possible to get to Heartbreak Ridge from Mill Creek Road right now?

  2. #2
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    That sucks big time! Hope they can remove most of the contaminated soil. The runoff from that could damage some stream habitat no doubt.
    People wait for me on the way up. I wait for them on the way down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secace
    That sucks big time! Hope they can remove most of the contaminated soil. The runoff from that could damage some stream habitat no doubt.
    Could? I'm gonna say will, there is no way to get it out of the soil, it will seep for years and end up in ground water....

  4. #4
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    Not good

    Quote Originally Posted by crossboy
    I was planning an ORAMM recon ride tomorrow, but saw this:

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article...NEWS/306180036

    Anyone know if it's possible to get to Heartbreak Ridge from Mill Creek Road right now?
    I guess we are going to still plan on the oramm trainer tomorrow and i think Graphite road is above the church/Hb access. If we are blocked there i guess we will drive over to Curtis and do that.
    If someone was coming down hb to the tracks would the "police" make that person turn around?
    Im thinking too if we start on Curtis then we will do jarod rd at the end heading back to the car. We would only miss Kitsuma which we were not really planning on doing anyway...

  5. #5
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    So, are there more ORAMM training rides planned? I mean that I don't have to pay for with more than sweat and blood? I have not ridden any of the trails and it is five weeks away! If there are more rides, I'll ask more questions. The guy who was supposed to show me around is waiting on MRI results about his knee right now.
    I am riding tomorrow but I can't make it anywhere till 11 due to the babysitter schedule.

  6. #6
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    I just got word from someone who works in that area that " as far as I know, lower HB and Star Gap are open"

  7. #7
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    Hopefully it wasn't near the wild trout waters.
    Last edited by mopartodd; 06-18-2010 at 03:53 PM.

  8. #8
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    Just got back 15 minutes ago from doing the ORAMM route minus the second beat down on Kitsuma. It is all open. The only section that is closed is coming back out of the Black Mountain campground. Did not say anything about no bikes just had the gates closed. Did see some train action on the gravel road (name?) that climbs back to Kitsuma parking.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    Hopefully it wasn't near the any wild trout waters.
    The number one source of pollution into mountain streams and rivers (trout waters) is sedimentation. Many poorly designed and eroding trails in our area are dumping sediment into trout water every time it rains.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  10. #10
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    Here are some more photos of how much effect bad trails have on water quality in our area. This effects the wildlife in streams/rivers greatly. Sediment covers the trout eggs laying on the bottom the stream and smothers them (to death sometimes). Adult fish also are not crazy about this pollution: when you breath water and it is full of sediment, it is hard to catch a breath. Many riders want technical trails to ride, but unfortunately we have way too many trails that are technical due to erosion and soil loss and very few trails that were designed and built to be technical but also sustainable. Squirrel Gap and Laurel Mountain are good examples of techy trails that are not really having much impact on natural resources (including water quality). Burnt Mountain is a good example of how we can sustain steeper trails with rock armoring and better water management. Many other classics however are dumping truckloads of sediment into waterways because we have so many bad trails and so much hydrology (you are never that far away from water when riding in Pisgah).
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  11. #11
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    Woodman, Thanks for the information about erosion/sedimentation. Sedimentation is the #1 polutant of all waterways within the state if i'm not mistaken...at least that's what Mel keeps telling us at these erosion/sedimentation workshops.

    Glad to hear the trails have not been closed.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=mopartodd]Woodman, Thanks for the information about erosion/sedimentation. Sedimentation is the #1 polutant of all waterways within the state if i'm not mistaken...at least that's what Mel keeps telling us at these erosion/sedimentation workshops.


    Yes, that is correct. It is more of a problem in the mountains (as compared to the flatlands) for several reasons:

    -Gravity is a serious factor here and steep trail erode faster (that is why we put in so many grade reversals and dips into our trails, to micro manage water).

    -Mountain trout are fragile species with a very low tolerance for change. In addition to sediment problems, they also can not tolerate water warming trends and there are a number of things affecting water temps: sediment is one and another is the death of so many hemlocks which are good year round shade trees for streams.

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    So Woody why is the USFS so damn resistant to re-routes when there are obvious issues with erosion on so many of our trails? Am sure I can guess the answer but it is so frustrating to see those pictures and then see/hear the USFS response. It almost seems they want all the trails to become so messed up and then use that as an excuse to close them to certain user groups, MTB. Sorry I am preaching to the choir right now. Just a lot of built up confusion and frustration. Greg

  14. #14
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    That gate has been closed for a while now b/c of the bridge work. Glad to hear it's all open! Thanks - guessing you won't be out there again tomorrow?

  15. #15
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    While I agree that sediment is a problem, trails are a minor factor compared to Agriculture and Development.

    I love what Woody does to manage sediment on trails but you could fix all the trails and we would still have major sediment in the water.

    Trust me, I'm the guy who draws the plans for controlling sediment on construction projects.

  16. #16
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    While sedimentation is clearly a concern, I would doubt that the majority of said sedimentation is coming from MTB trail use. I would think development would have a much larger impact. Never the less, an oil spill could certainly have a larger impact. Fortunately, they don't happen every time it rains.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    While I agree that sediment is a problem, trails are a minor factor compared to Agriculture and Development.

    I love what Woody does to manage sediment on trails but you could fix all the trails and we would still have major sediment in the water.

    Trust me, I'm the guy who draws the plans for controlling sediment on construction projects.
    You beat me to it! I type reallllllly slow!

  18. #18
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    Of course we don't have the trout to be concerened with in our streams here in the piedmont, but there are other species that suffer (i.e. Shad). Like Maida and other said, trail erosion sedimentation is minor in comparison to construction sites and farming. The new developments and tobacco farms around my place look horrendous after a storm...the creeks look worse. Think espresso+milk+bunch of floaters.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maida7
    While I agree that sediment is a problem, trails are a minor factor compared to Agriculture and Development.

    I love what Woody does to manage sediment on trails but you could fix all the trails and we would still have major sediment in the water.

    Trust me, I'm the guy who draws the plans for controlling sediment on construction projects.
    While I agree with David (and others) that sediment comes from development and other non-trail sources, all of the photos I posted had stream turbidity and no farming or development above the locations where the photos were taken. The one of the really muddy looking stream was a private project we were working on in 2007. After a really heavy rain storm one day that halted our work, I found the stream in the condition you see. I had some time on my hands and went exploring and found the primary source of sediment pollution to be one trail on public lands at a popular ride venue.

    Just because development and other things cause sedimentation of of water ways does not mean we have a reason to be complacent about eroding trails having a negative impact. That would be sort of like saying "everybody else is wasting a lot of electricity and gas for cars, so it is also OK for me to do the same". We have to solve these large problems as a whole, and pollution of our waterways is one of those really large problems that needs attention.

    Yes, developers need better sediment and erosion control plans from LAs and engineers, but the trails we use also need the same thing.

    Woody

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snototter
    So Woody why is the USFS so damn resistant to re-routes when there are obvious issues with erosion on so many of our trails? Am sure I can guess the answer but it is so frustrating to see those pictures and then see/hear the USFS response. It almost seems they want all the trails to become so messed up and then use that as an excuse to close them to certain user groups, MTB. Sorry I am preaching to the choir right now. Just a lot of built up confusion and frustration. Greg

    Greg,

    Many reasoms why the FS is resistant to re-routes and doing the right thing:

    -Money, they never have good funding for trails and other recreational activities.

    -The NEPA process, many within the FS are afraid of the NEPA process of approval for trail projects

    -Trails don't seem to be important or a priority for the FS.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65
    While sedimentation is clearly a concern, I would doubt that the majority of said sedimentation is coming from MTB trail use. I would think development would have a much larger impact. Never the less, an oil spill could certainly have a larger impact. Fortunately, they don't happen every time it rains.

    65,

    It is not really mountain bike use on trails, but the design of the alignment and construction techniques used. Many trails in our area (75% or greater) were old timber extraction routes: rail grades, haul roads, skidder trails and what not. These alignments were adopted by the FS as trails despite not really being intended to be long term sustainable recreational corridors. At the time these were built there was one and only one motivation to those who created these routes, get the timber from the hillside to the mill and market-place as quickly as possible (efficiency=profit).

    Mountain bikes were blamed (and continue to be) for trail damage during "the early years" but what was really happening was increased use on trail that really were not being used showed signs of wear. All the studies available to date have shown that bikes and hiking have similar and equal impacts to the trail, horses and ATVs have a much greater impact.

    Trails that lacked good design and construction started falling apart as usage increased. That coupled with a lot of rain and fragile soils and ever increasing use has resulted in badly eroded trails and lots of sediment dumped into our waterways.

  22. #22
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    Anybody ever been to the swimming hole at the mouth of the Davidson River up on Daniel Ridge? Wife and I hiked up there yesterday and just kind of found it for the first time. I haven't seen water that clear in a long time.

    You could see twenty feet deep and watch scores of brown trout swim from down deep then hit the surface. Simply beautiful.

    Ironic that I drove in on what is now a 2 lane paved water repellant that used to be a gravel road. Can only imagine the level of water runoff that much pavement causes to such a pristine water source at the mouth of the hatchery no less.
    I am not a "Role Model"

  23. #23
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    Butch: there is a great sliding rock and pool in the creak in the lower cove creek campground. Great place to play on a hot summer day.

    on a similar note:

    I just saw this film on the effects to ground water from natural gas drilling in the US. It's called Gaslands http://gaslandthemovie.com/

    Very disturbing stuff. When bush was in office they created a loop hole in the clean water act that exempts the gas wells from oversight by the EPA. The effects of the drilling on the ground water quality are very alarming. Big business is destroying our country for short term gains. I had no idea how bad this is. People who live near these gas wells can light their tap water on fire.

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=Woodman]
    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    Woodman, Thanks for the information about erosion/sedimentation. Sedimentation is the #1 polutant of all waterways within the state if i'm not mistaken...at least that's what Mel keeps telling us at these erosion/sedimentation workshops.


    Yes, that is correct. It is more of a problem in the mountains (as compared to the flatlands) for several reasons:

    -Gravity is a serious factor here and steep trail erode faster (that is why we put in so many grade reversals and dips into our trails, to micro manage water).

    -Mountain trout are fragile species with a very low tolerance for change. In addition to sediment problems, they also can not tolerate water warming trends and there are a number of things affecting water temps: sediment is one and another is the death of so many hemlocks which are good year round shade trees for streams.
    So does anyone know of a good trail builder in the area that could give us some pointers?
    Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    Don't sweat it.

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