From Staff Reports
U.S. Forest Service officials at
the Cherokee National Forest say a portion of National Forest System Road 67 – Sina Branch Road in Polk County will be closed while …
U.S. Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest say a portion of National Forest System Road 67 – Sina Branch Road in Polk County will be closed while new culverts are being constructed. The road work is scheduled to occur during the month of October. Sina Branch Road – NFSR 67 will be closed approximately 4 miles from the junction with NFSR 55 (a location known locally as the “Turkey Foot”).
This project is one of three
components of the Joint Watershed Restoration Project:
Reduce sediment; Improve the health and resiliency of the forest ecosystem by reducing non-native invasive species; Increase flood resiliency and aquatic organism passage.
AOP projects included in this proposal were
selected to open up additional habitat for Tennessee Dace, a very rare minnow
that is listed as a Forest Sensitive fish and a Tennessee Wildlife Resources
Agency (TWRA) deemed in-Need-of-Management species. Replacement of the 8
culverts identified as barriers on Sina Branch Road will open up 40+ miles of
habitat for Tennessee Dace.
Ocoee District Ranger Mike
Wright said, "Projects like this are
always harder to do alone and it takes dedicated partnerships like the ones we
have developed for this project to be successful. The improvements that the Sina Branch project
provides will be of considerable benefit to Tennessee Dace and many other
aquatic species in Sina Branch and other area streams.
I realize that closing portions of the road during construction work may be inconvenient
for some people. Construction work such
as this must be done when water levels and the risk for flooding are low, so the
weather was a big factor in determining when this work could be done. This
project will not only benefit aquatic life in the creeks but it will enhance the
resiliency of our infrastructure to flooding and ensure that access to this
area of the forest will be available for future generations."
For more information about the Sill
Branch AOP project contact the Ocoee Ranger District Office at 423-338-3300.
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