Monday, August 11, 2008

Rotted Trees May Keep Oswald West State Park Closed to Camping

Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
MANZANITA, Ore. - The popular Oswald West State park is closed, a victim of falling trees and threatened campers, and it isn't certain if it will open to camping again.

Idaho camper Derrick Stiegemeier said he understood but was disappointed. "When is the last time anyone was killed by a falling tree?" he asked.

It was last month, when David Harris, 21, was found dead of head injuries on a trail a few miles away, probably from a fallen limb.

By then the park itself was closed to campers. In June a 100-foot-tall Sitka spruce, 11 feet thick, fell just steps from a campsite. The park was full but there were no injuries.

The inside of the tree, probably at least 300 years old, had rotted.

"If the universe has a luck-o-meter that ranges from 0 to 10, this was an 11," state parks spokesman Chris Havel said. "There is risk everywhere. That's part of being outdoors."
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