Mariton: Pardon the Mess

May 9, 2013

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

The salvage logging operation to clean up the damage from Hurricane Sandy will begin on Monday, May 13.  The process will last about a month, weather permitting.  During that period, trails will be closed periodically around the work areas.  It is important that you respect the closures.  It is not only for your safety, but also for the workers doing the dangerous work of clearing the downed timber. 

There are a number of reasons that we really need to endure the noise, mess and inconvenience of this operation. 

For one, there is the Turnpike Trail.  A section of this trail remains closed because of the number of trees blocking it.  You can’t move more than a few feet without crawling over or under a large tree.  It is more than the sheer number of trees across the trail.  Every cut is a dangerous chess move, because trees fell across the 4 foot high stone wall and are under complex tension.  Once the trees are cut, we would still need to get the large logs off of the trail (over the stone wall and tree tops).  We could do this in house, but it will be much more efficient for people with  the right equipment to do this job. 

Then there are the invasive plants.  Kevin, in particular, has made headway in controlling invasive plants in areas over the past few years.  There is still a lot to do, but we don’t want to lose ground in the areas of the blowdowns.  Maneuvering through the downed trees is easier said than done.  (I know – I’ve said it and done it.)  Getting the logs out is the first step in getting access to controlling the invading non-native plants.  We know that where we are controlling the invasives, the result has been an abundance of native wildflowers and other benefits.

I don’t plan to close the preserve completely, but areas will be closed from time to time during the operation.  I’ll post updates on the blog and at the Nature Center.  So for the next month , please excuse the inconvenience of what Sandy heaped on us.  We think the end results will be worth it in the long term.  (Quite frankly, Mariton is a long term proposition.)