Eva Lenhard stands by fallen trees in deep snow at the bridge over Ohmer Creek in December 2021. (Photo courtesy of Matt Lenhard)

Some forest roads and recreation trails on Mitkof Island remain blocked by trees that came down in harsh fall and winter weather.

Eric LaPrice, the U.S. Forest Service’s acting district ranger in Petersburg said some areas have been blocked for months.

“Well we know that there’s probably trees down in a lot of areas but the one that we’ve heard the most about is we had last fall a big blow down in the Ohmer Creek area,” LaPrice said. “So we know there’s a road out there that’s blocked with trees and we know the trail out there is blocked with a lot of trees that came down just before the winter hit.”

Trees came down across the road to Woodpecker Cove right at Ohmer Creek. Forest roads also have been covered by deep snow this winter. The acting ranger says staff have taken photos of damage to recreation areas and coordinated with local pilots for an aerial perspective.

LaPrice said it’s a two-pronged approach to for clearing the fallen wood.

“The first is that’s where we’re trying to direct fire wood cutters number one, so they can help us by cutting material out of the road,” he explained. “And we are right now in the process of getting ready for the field season, starting to onboard some of our seasonal work crews like our trails crews and things like that. Once we have them on, we are going to be sending them out to do some clearing, working on the road, working on the trails to get those back open.”

The agency may also a hire contractor to do some of the work. However, LaPrice says it could be some time before seasonal employees or road crews can get to the fallen trees.

Winter snows also dropped some smaller trees across the lower part of the trail to Ravens Roost cabin.

People can report other areas that need clearing by contacting the recreation manager for both the Petersburg and Wrangell ranger districts, Tory Houser at 907-874-7560 or email Victoria.houser@usda.gov