Lake Moomaw Ready For Spring Fun
Warm Springs, VA – Lake Moomaw is currently residing at full pool elevation of 1582 feet above sea level after experiencing a low of 20 foot below normal levels. The lake level was dropped to assess concerns about the integrity of Gathright Dam. The dam in Allegheny County received a potentially unsafe rating after a recent inspection by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In response, the Corps has said that they dropped the level of Lake Moomaw to the 1554 foot at minimum pool level to better study the issues. Since then, Corp officials have determined that Gathright Dam is operationally sound and functional.
In the summer of 2009 a federal court halted all forest planning efforts including work on the George Washington Forest Plan. The George Washington Forest Plan was nearing the phase where a draft document was to be released to the public. The Forest Plan process will resume by sending a notice of intent to the public. Public meetings are planned for the month of April in various communities across the northern part of the George Washington and Jefferson national forests. A draft Forest Plan will be released to the public January 2011 and a final by September 2012.
The Warm Springs and James River Ranger Districts currently have no plans to spray for gypsy moth control in Highland, Bath, or Allegheny counties in 2010. We believe that the gypsy moth population suffered a near total collapse in early summer of 2009 due to the naturally occurring soil virus and fungus that causes gypsy moth mortality. Little to no gypsy moth egg masses were observed last fall which is an indicator of the population for the upcoming year.
[Access to] personal use firewood on National Forest lands along state road 605 in the vicinity of the Morris Hill Campground closed on Friday, February 12. Numerous dead and damaged trees were cut down by the Forest Service in preparation for an upcoming prescribed fire. Ordinarily, firewood permit holders would not be allowed to cut firewood in recreation areas.