By Cody Lunsford, District Ranger
AVA, Mo. (Dec. 2) – Taking care of the forest for the public means different work every season. With the weather getting cooler, we will be looking for the right opportunities for prescribed burning on the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs (ACW) Ranger District. These prescribed burns mimic the natural fire return interval and are excellent tools to help with the restoration of glades and open woodlands. We have completed fire hire for our permanent fire positions; and we have on-boarded our seasonal firefighters. Not only are they prepared to conduct prescribed burning, but they have also completed all necessary training to be ready to respond to any wildfires.
Restoration work continues across the Ranger District. A couple projects are underway on ACW Ranger District, with the assigned contractor scheduled to resume work at Washington Bald and Bascomb Bald this month.
I am also pleased to announce that the Ava/Cassville/Willow Springs Ranger District Administrative Site Project Environmental Analysis and Draft Decision Notice is available for review on the Mark Twain National Forest Website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/mtnf/landmanagement/projects. A public notice initiating a 45 day objection period will be published in the Rolla Daily News on or soon after Monday, December 2nd.
Volunteer, Rick Wyman, recently coordinated a dump clean-up on Forest Road 704; and this was no ordinary dump site. The site was at the bottom of a ravine with nearly 80% slope and was right next to a spring. Rick engineered a pulley system to safely pull items up the steep slope—items such as stoves, refrigerators, and tires. District employees assisted with the cleanup; and Dan Wadlington, staff member for Senator Blunt, came out to assist with the cleanup. Even though there is only about one more day of work left to finish this particular cleanup, we know Rick will be finding and organizing new stewardship projects in the future. Rick Wyman is truly a dedicated steward of our natural resources. I just want to say thank you to him and everyone else that helps keep your national forests clean.
I also want to remind the public that the North Fork Recreation Area closed for the season on December 1. Also, in honor of the Christmas Day holiday on December 25, 2019, and New Year’s Day on January 1, 2020, the Ava and Cassville District Offices will be closed. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
If you have any questions regarding the listed activities, please feel free to call the Ava District Office at 417-683-4428.