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Danger Tree Policy. Tom Erkert Group Leader for Transportation Planning, Operations, & Maintenance Pacific Northwest Region USDA Forest Service. Agenda. Responsibility/Liability Problem Policy Discussion. What’s your Responsibility?. Conduct the Survey

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danger tree policy

Danger Tree Policy

Tom Erkert

Group Leader for Transportation Planning, Operations, & Maintenance

Pacific Northwest Region

USDA Forest Service

agenda
Agenda
  • Responsibility/Liability
  • Problem
  • Policy
  • Discussion
what s your responsibility
What’s your Responsibility?
  • Conduct the Survey
  • Identify the problems to the best of your abilities
  • Document Results
  • Present Results to the Line Officer
    • Inform them of their responsibilities under the directive
    • Inform them what their liability is if they choose to ignore it
liability cuz i know you want to talk about it
Liability(Cuz I know you want to talk about it)
  • Three types
    • Agency, Line Officer, Personal
  • Basic Rules under Federal Tort Claims Act
    • Follow the process the Agency has given you
    • Document your results
    • You will be within the scope of your employment if you follow the process

Therefore

    • Agency assumes the liability if you are working within the scope of your duties
the problem
The Problem
  • Monitoring revealed
    • Danger Trees are prevalent across all units
    • Inconsistent approaches
  • Recent Incidents
  • Some Contractors/Permittees have refused to use Roads
  • Large Wildfires that burned in 2002/2003
examples
Examples
  • Roads Program Monitoring
    • 2004
    • 2005
  • Other Field Site Visits
slide7
GIP

Road 23 - 2004

slide8
Mth

Road 4885 - 2004

More later…

slide9
SIS

Road 4103 - 2005

slide10
OLY

Road 33 - 2005

slide11
MAL

Roads - 2004

slide12
UMP

Road 28

Diamond Lake Resort

b b fire area des
B&B Fire Area - DES

Corbett Snow park Parking Area

Highway 20 - 2005

monument fire area mal
Monument Fire Area - MAL

Road 1672 - 2005

Road 1672457 - 2005

this can lead to
This Can Lead To…

Road 4885, MTH

07/24/2004 1430

and finally this
And Finally This…
  • Tree Entered Passenger Compartment
  • Tree Impaled 12 year old boy
other incidents
Other Incidents
  • COL 8/1/2005
    • Employee’s vehicle struck by falling White Fir
    • Thankfully no one was hurt
  • Mt Ashland Road (County)
    • ODOT worker killed
where is it
Where Is It?
  • R6 Supplement to FSM 7733
    • R6/PNW Supplement No.: 7730-2005-1
  • Available at:
    • http://fsweb.r6.fs.fed.us/directives/fsm/7700/7733.doc
  • Field Guides Referenced:
    • Developed Recreation Sites Guide http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/nr/fid/pubsweb/hazardtreemanual.pdf
    • Field Guide (This Class) http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/nr/fp/ReserveTree05/FieldGuideforDangerTreeIdentification&Response.pdf
policy summary
Policy Summary
  • Goal is to ensure the safe use of roads by all users
  • Safety takes priority over all other considerations
  • Identification of danger trees will be done by a “Qualified Person”
  • Road segments identified as High priority will be closed until the hazardous condition is mitigated
forest supervisor responsibilities 7733 04
Forest Supervisor Responsibilities7733.04
  • Provide a Safe Transportation System
    • (FSM 7702, 7704, 7730)
  • Ensure a Qualified Person is Available
  • Mitigate Hazards
definitions 7733 05
Definitions7733.05
  • Danger tree – A standing tree that presents a hazard to people due to conditions such as, but not limited to, deterioration or physical damage to the root system, trunk, stem, or limbs and the direction or lean of the tree (FSH 6709.11)
  • Danger tree = Hazard tree
  • Qualified person – A person trained to identify danger trees in accordance with the “Field Guide for Danger Tree Identification and Response”
assessment methodologies 7733 3
Assessment Methodologies7733.3
  • Roads Within Developed Rec Sites
    • Long-Range Planning for Developed Sites in the Pacific Northwest: The Context of Hazard Tree Management (Harvey & Hessburg, 1992)
  • Roads Outside Developed Rec Sites
    • Field Guide for Danger Tree Identification and Response (Toupin & Barger, 2005)
field guide mechanics
Field Guide Mechanics
  • Rating System
    • Field Guide
      • Activity, Exposure, Failure Potential
    • High/Med/Low
      • Way to Prioritize Treatments
  • Assessments will be Ongoing
    • Condition Surveys
    • Project Prep Work
    • Contract Work
priority classifications 7733 5
Priority Classifications7733.5
  • Assign Priority Classification
  • Based on
    • Failure Potential
    • Potential Failure Zone
    • Exposure Duration
      • Long/Short
      • Intermittent but High Frequency
high priority imminent tree failure potential
High PriorityImminent Tree Failure Potential

Areas where people are stopped and congregated such as or with Higher Traffic Volumes:

  • Interior Roads of developed recreation sites
  • Parking Areas
  • Scenic Vistas, Geologic Points of Interest
  • Active Projects or Contracts
  • Intersections on Op Mtce Level 3-5 roads
  • Operational Maintenance Level 3-5 roads
  • Active Haul routes
medium priority
Medium Priority
  • Same as High Priority except
    • Tree failure potential is likely rather than imminent
low priority
Low Priority
  • Areas with low traffic volumes such as Operational Maintenance Level 2 roads
  • Imminent or Likely Tree Failure Potential
management actions 7733 7
Management Actions (7733.7)
  • High Priority Road Segments Require Prompt Action
    • Eliminate Danger Trees

OR

    • Close the Road
  • Medium & Low Priority
    • Not Time Critical
    • Use other Strategies
assessments
Assessments
  • Assess Danger Trees during routine work
    • Road Maintenance Plans
    • Condition Surveys (Informal & Formal)
    • Contract Prep
    • Safety Reviews
    • Contract Administration
    • Etc.
backlog of work
Backlog of Work
  • Areas with Large Backlogs
    • Use for Class C Chain Saw Certification Train
    • Title II Funding
    • CWK2 this year
    • Commercial Timber Sales
    • Personal Use Firewood
    • Watershed Restoration Projects
      • Source for Large Woody Debris
cwk2 funding fy 06
CWK2 Funding FY 06
  • $1.6 MM Region
    • Tied to Timber Output, For Safety Related Work
nepa considerations
NEPA Considerations
  • Planning Docs
    • Include Danger Tree mitigation as Connected action, Over Life as Reasonably Foreseeable Action
  • Utilize Categorical Exclusions (FSH 1909.15)
    • Chapter 31.12, subs. 4 – Repair and maintenance of roads, trails, and landline boundaries. DM Not Req.
    • Chapter 31.2, subs. 13 – Salvage of dead and/or dying trees no to exceed 250 acres; and subs. 14 Commercial and non-commercial sanitation harvest of trees to control insects and disease not to exceed 250 acres. DM Required
esa heritage
ESA & Heritage
  • Compliance with the Endangered Species Act is required.
    • Close the road if danger trees can’t be felled
    • Danger trees must be felled if roads cannot be closed.
  • Contact the Forest Heritage specialist
    • Additional mitigation may be needed
coop agreements mou s
Coop Agreements/MOU’s
  • For roads on NFS lands managed by others (state, county. etc.)
  • Address danger-tree management in the easement language or in a Memorandum of Understanding.
    • ODOT MOU
    • WSDOT MOU
    • Forest Road Agreements
med low priority strategies
Med/Low Priority Strategies
  • There is more time to plan and execute cost-efficient programs
    • Commercial Timber Sale Program
    • Stewardship Program
timber sales permits contracts
Timber Sales, Permits, Contracts
  • Road Systems used for Prep by Admin Personnel will be safe to use
    • May need to be treated before (CMRD/CWK2)
  • Haul Routes to be Treated in Pre-Haul, During and Post Haul
    • Appraise for Work (T-854) according to Commensurate Share Policy
    • Level 3-5 Share based on traffic count
    • Level 2 Purchaser/Permittee is responsible
wildfire strategy
Wildfire Strategy
  • Suppression
    • Fell Imminent or Likely Failure Potential Trees
    • Leave Road Systems Safe for BAER Teams
  • BAER
    • Apply for funds for assessment, stabilization, and monitoring (Consider 3 years)
    • Qualified Person Must be on Team
  • Plan for Commercial Removal on Med/Low Priority Roads
    • Separate Salvage Sale
  • Plan for Recurrent Treatments in Road Maintenance Plans
required training 7733 8
Required Training7733.8
  • Qualified Person
    • Complete class on implementation of the Field Guide for Danger Tree Identification and Response
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