Black locust trees at Old Kettle will come down

The National Park Service (NPS) has their work cut out for them with the removal of Black Locust trees along 50 acres near Lake Roosevelt. Currently in the planning and development stages, the project entails removing invasive black locusts that are choking out native plants and trees like pine and cottonwood. The majority of the tree removal will take place between the Kettle Falls Marina and Ski Point, which is south of Swim Beach near the Locust Grove Camp Ground. The NPS held a public meeting last Tuesday at the American Legion in Kettle Falls to discuss the different stages of the project and get public feedback. According to NPS Chief of Integrated Services at Lake Roosevelt, Ken Hyde, 30 to 40 people attended the meeting and heard his presentation on the tree removal process. An eight-person committee of concerned local citizens was formed to work with the NPS in regards to certain black locusts that may have historic and/or recreational value (shade, trail covering, etc.) Hyde says the project will cost around $20,000, with “other possible funding options.” The public is invited to join the committee and Hyde at the picnic shelter in Locust Grove Camp Ground, Thursday, June 14 at 5 p.m. to walk the trails around the area and learn more about the project. * Read the full story in the 6-13-2012 edition of the S-E.