Black locust removal expected to lower mosquito populations near Lake Roosevelt

Katie Leithead | Statesman-Examiner
Katie Leithead
S-E Staff Reporter

It's hard to miss the new large sections of open fields at the Kettle Falls Locust Grove, aptly named after the black locust tree prominent in the area.

Starting in January 2018 the National Park Service (NPS) closed all federal land located within Locust Grove, Lions Island and the Kettle Falls Trail System areas in order to hire a contractor to harvest 29 of the 75 acres of black locust.

The closure was due to significant safety concerns associated with a tree thinning project, because all three locations saw heavily vehicle, horse and foot traffic. Tree felling operations can pose a significant risk to visitors due to snags, tree falling and heavy equipment operations.

The contractor didn't have a chance to start work on the grove until early February, when the ground was still frozen and covered in snow. This was to ensure the fields wouldn't get torn up during tree removal.

Catch the full story online here or in the March 28, 2018 S-E.
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