Panhandle Nordic Club
Monthly Newsletter/Presidents Message
November 1, 2020
Hopefully this finds you all still in good health and ready for the coming ski and snowshoe season! The pandemic had definitely put a strain on what had been planed for the summer activities, but hopefully everyone will be able to get outside and enjoy the winter. Given the current circumstances, surely everyone will understand that the board has had to make some changes in how the club will function this season.
To begin with, to avoid gatherings in enclosed areas it will not be possible to hold monthly indoor meetings. Instead, the board agreed that a monthly newsletter will be prepared and posted to the Club WEB site by the first Tuesday of each month. An email will also be sent out to the membership prior to the first Tuesday as a reminder that the newsletter is available.
As we have always done at the first meeting of the season, we again want to create a list of winter activities for the club member participation. If you have ideas in mind, you are encouraged to let Karen, Randy or I know so that a list can be prepared. Please include who will lead the activity and which weekend/day it could be scheduled for. Also refer to the Club WEB site information regarding what the activity leaders’ role entails. The info is on the club members page
To address COVID issues, proposed activities should be: 1) limited to day trips only, 2) shall be outside activities, and 3) unless you are comfortable with traveling in vehicles with others, everyone may want to be prepared to drive themselves to activity locations.
Unfortunately, again due to COVID the board has decided that in the best interest of the clubs members the Poker Run and Rock Soup will not be put on this year. You might be able to guess that since they both have involved large gatherings in the warming hut, the risk was too great to take a chance of someone contracting the virus.
One other change the board decided to make is the setup of the snowshoe warming hut. For the same reasoning as discussed above for the Panhandle Hut, it will not be set up for use this year.
Preparations for the grooming of 4th of July are well under way thanks to Glenn Truscott (Skip) and handful of volunteers’. The inner core trails, Loose Moose and Elderberry have all been cleared of windfalls and mowing of encroaching vegetation will be started this coming week.
Skip will be scheduling a day in the near future to set up of the groomer shelters, and shortly after the snowmobiles and grooming equipment will be moved in.
If anyone is interested, the grooming crew could use more help. Unfortunately, John Lee will probably not be available this season and Goeff Harvey may only be able to provide limited participation on the ground. So for now we have five folks to rotate through as the winter progresses. If the crew could be up to six or eight it would really help to spread the work load out if it is a big snow year.
For your information, the club was notified that the Forest Service (FS) is initiating scoping for a future vegetation management project (i.e. Rosie Cedar Project) in and around the cross-country skiing/snowshoe area. Scoping is the stage of planning process where the FS attempts to gather up information that can assist in developing a plan forest management projects. Skip, Goeff and I see this project as an opportunity to potentially expand and/or accomplish improvements to the area at a minimal cost to the club. We have responded to their request for input with a letter of proposed needs of the area that could be accomplished in conjunction with vegetation management activities. Some examples of our proposals include: 1) Widening narrow sections of the roads (trails) they may need to use for access to their treatment areas. This would improve our ability to groom in the future, 2) Removing dead and dying trees near to the roads. This would reduce the number of windfalls we now have to clear during the summer and winter, 3) Removing trees with boughs that overhang the roads, preventing sufficient snow from reaching the surface making sections of the trails prone to faster melting. Over the course of the winter boughs also creates tree wells (shallow snow and holes in the groomed surface), 4) Allowing the club to create new loop trails using over grown roads that will be reopened for access to treatment areas, 5) Restricting vegetation management operations so that the ski/snowshoe trails are still available to the public during the winter months.
Typical of the FS Planning process, it may be several years before this project is implemented. So we’re not foreseeing any changes happening in the near future to the ski/snowshoe area.