We started with a meeting with Teressa Brown, Forestry Technician with the Forest Service, at 1:00 PM at her office in Blairsville on Friday for pre-planning. We discussed how the OHV area weathered the wet winter closure. She indicated they had not been able to get out much over the trails because all of the rain so conditions were unknown. She did say some of the other areas had many downed trees and for us to “bring out the certified sawyers”. We discussed that three new gates had been installed and people have been making there way around the gates, so one of our big tasks would be to block these illegal by-passes at the new gates. She said she would have a few tools (one post-hole digger, shovel and a rock bar) and supplies (bags of sackret, posts, boards, screws to fasten the boards, etc.) at strategic locations for the work. Unfortunately both of the Forest Service’s gas powered augers were out of commission! Oh no!
After the meeting we headed over to the campsite. Since the area was still locked from the winter closure we had to install a specially coded combination lock at the gate so everyone could get in/out without much problem. Next, Rita and I set-up camp at the Satterfield Pay Station off Windy Hill Rd., as others arrived, we set-up plans for work parties to start evaluating the trails and start clearing back the brush. One crew led by Greg Uphole headed out 93C cutting back the brush off the trails and cleaning out water bars. Another crew, led by Kerry Vanderpool worked Trail 93 where they had to cut two trees off the trail.
On Saturday morning, we had a parking area full of vehicles!