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McCormick's Creek State Park To Remove Hazardous Tulip And Ash Trees
Updated January 14, 2015 7:08 AM
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(MCCORMICK CREEK) - A log sale to remove dead and dying ash and tulip trees from picnic areas, campgrounds and other public places is planned for McCormick's Creek State Park this winter.

Local residents will be able to cut firewood also.

Tulip trees marked for removal have been affected by drought and tulip scale, and are threatening to fall or lose limbs. That could damage roads, buildings, public spaces or utilities. Because the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) has been identified in the park, ash trees in public spaces and along trails will also be marked for removal.

"We have around 500 tulip and ash that need to come out before the summer recreation season," park manager Dwight Brooks said. "People will see stumps and tops along park roads, in picnic areas and in the campgrounds, but we'll get as much cleaned up as we can before our campers roll in this spring."

Park staff will cut the trees with assistance from sawyers with the DNR Division of Forestry. Then, timber buyers will be allowed into the park to bid on the logs. Interested timber buyers should watch for a future news release describing the bid process.

Affected trees less than 14 inches in diameter and trees in campgrounds that might contain debris that could damage sawmill equipment will not be included in the log sale. Instead, the park will drop the trees and make them available to local residents to cut for firewood for $5 per pick-up truck load.

A permit for cutting firewood will be required and can be obtained at the park office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays beginning Jan. 20. Days, hours and access for cutting will be determined by weather conditions. Call the park office for updates.

Purchasers of firewood must agree to comply with ash quarantine requirements. Any wood that is brought back to the park or used at a state property must have the bark removed as required by DNR's firewood rule.

All proceeds from the log sale and firewood permits will be designated for resource management, which includes planting new trees.

Ginger Murphy, deputy director for stewardship for DNR Division of State Parks, said the tree removal is necessary for park safety. She called the selling of firewood and logs to fund replacement trees a "win-win".

"The Division of State Parks' mission requires that we manage our natural and cultural resources wisely and, at the same time, provide safe and enjoyable access for our visitors," Murphy said.

Several state parks have been affected by EAB. Ash trees have been or are being removed at Pokagon, Potato Creek and Spring Mill state parks, at Patoka, Salamonie, Mississinewa lakes.

McCormick's Creek State Park will hold a public meeting to discuss this hazard tree mitigation strategy on Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. in the nature center program room. McCormick's Creek property manager Dwight Brooks, district forester Ralph Unversaw and entomologist Ken Cote will answer questions and provide an update on EAB in Indiana.

McCormick's Creek State Park (stateparks.IN.gov/2978.htm) is at 250 McCormick's Creek Park Road, Spencer, 47460.



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