Resource Management Projects

Resource Management Projects

As part of carrying out the mission of the USDA Forest Service, agency resource specialists develop proposals that will enhance or maintain resource values on public lands, as well as generate products. In addition, the public may submit proposals for various uses and recreational events. A necessary part of the planning for these is environmental analysis and documentation, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and agency direction.

Downed trees and tornado damage on the north end of Land Between the Lakes

Featured Project: Post-Tornado Recovery Efforts

The December 10, 2021 tornadic events resulted in numerous storm-damaged trees and debris on the northern and southern ends of Land Between the Lakes. The primary intentions of our post-storm recovery efforts are to provide for user safety and safe operations where infrastructure or facilities exist. Efforts are underway to assess impacts, remove hazard trees, repair roads, reroute trails, clean shorelines, and clean up damaged and downed trees. You can learn more about our post-storm recovery work by reading through the tabs below.

What happened?
• On December 10, 2021, an EF-4 tornado impacted the northern part of Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL) in Lyon County, KY. The tornado entered the unit north of Hillman Ferry Campground and traveled northeast to Clay Bay.
• On the same evening, an EF-3 tornado hit the southern part of LBL in Stewart County, TN. It came ashore just south of Boswell Landing and exited the unit south of Brandon Spring.
• Through extensive remote sensing and ground surveys, we have identified approximately 7,000 acres of National Forest System lands affected by the two tornado events.


What was damaged?

• From the initial and ongoing damage assessments conducted by trained foresters, we have confirmed sizable and varied landscape impacts. While aerial and ground assessments have confirmed catastrophic landscape damage within the impacted areas, no structures were destroyed.


What recovery work has occurred so far?

• Our highest priorities in our recovery efforts are public safety and safe operations. Soon after the tornadoes, our staff worked to protect human life and safety through removing hazard trees in developed areas, rerouting and closing unsafe trails, and repairing and reopening roads for safe public access.
• We will continue to work closely with our neighbors, partners, and the public on our recovery efforts to make the recreation area safe, healthy, and resilient for years to come.
• Check the tab below in this table for ongoing updates on our recovery efforts.

Where can I find more information and stay updated on recovery efforts?

  • Recovery and timber salvage project updates are posted on this page and through the official LBL Facebook (@LBLNatlRecArea) and Twitter (@LandBtwnLakes). 
  • Check the Alerts page for storm and recovery related closures and notices.

Recent post-tornado recovery efforts include:

  • North and South Tornado Cleanup projects:
    -Now that we have an understanding of the size and scope of the tornadoes’ impacts to the landscape, we can prepare for the North and South Tornado Cleanup projects in the next phase of our recovery efforts. The goal of these projects is to remove some of the damaged and downed timber in the tornado-impacted areas to protect life safety and promote resilient forests. To learn more, see the next tab labeled "North and South Tornado Cleanup Project" below.
  • Hazard Tree Removal:
    -Efforts by trained Forest Service specialists to remove hazardous trees within the developed areas impacted by the December 2021 tornadoes have quickly restored access to almost all roads and facilities throughout the unit. The intent of hazard tree removal is to fell storm-damaged and dead trees along roads and developed areas to provide for access and improved safety. Hazard tree reduction along roads allows forest management, fire suppression, and post-storm recovery activities to continue safely within areas impacted by the tornadoes. Cutting hazard trees also allows storm-impacted areas to be safely reopened to public access.
    -We strongly urge the public to not cut, clear, or remove any storm debris on their own, as these storm-damaged trees are extremely dangerous.
  • Trail Detours:
    -Detours have been created around impassable portions of the North/South Trail. Portions of the Ft. Henry Trail System and North/South Trail remain impassable. Follow the Alerts page for the latest detour updates.
  • Road Repairs:
    -While road clearing has been completed from recent storm damage, visitors should use caution on roads, as there is still repair work being done and there is damage along the roads. There is still the potential that trees could fall.
    -If you come in contact with downed trees, please email [email protected] to report them. You can also message us on Facebook @LBLNatlRecArea. Please do not attempt to move, cut, or clear any storm debris as it is extremely dangerous.
  • Assessing Impacted Areas:
    -From our initial assessments, we determined that we have sizable and different levels of landscape damage.
    -We were fortunate to have a team of skilled forestry specialists from our Enterprise Department and the Shawnee National Forest assist with assessing damaged timber stands after the December 2021 tornadic events. The teams were comprised of Silviculturist Foresters, a Silviculture Technician, and multiple Forestry Technicians. These specialized crews mapped the perimeter of the damaged areas, took measurements from pre-designated locations, measured the diameter at breast height, length, percentage of defects in the trees, calculated the number of trees per acre (basal area), and marked trees in preparation for potential salvage sales.
  • Assessing Natural Resources:
    -Wildlife staff have assessed several openlands (fields) across the north and south tornado paths and reported the northern path impacted more of the openland habitat than the southern path.
    -Initial surveys were completed to assess impacts to watersheds, soil destabilization as a result of timber blowdown, and impacts to roads, culverts, and other infrastructure from increased runoff and sedimentation.
    -The Christmas Bird Count was completed post-tornado and hosted by the Woodlands Nature Station. Bird counts at Land Between the Lakes surpassed our highest tally records for red-shouldered hawks, American crows, and white-crowned sparrows, and met our highest record of wood ducks. Additionally, we have two rare birds to report this year: a Golden Eagle (immature) and a Fish Crow. 
  • Shoreline Debris Cleanups- Volunteers Needed: 
    -The Friends of Land Between the Lakes (LBLA) are hosting volunteer shoreline cleanups throughout the weeks and months ahead. We are so grateful to our volunteers who have worked hard to make these cleanups such a success thus far!
    -If you are interested in helping with future LBLA shoreline cleanup events, please email: [email protected] and/or follow the LBLA Facebook page: facebook.com/FriendsofLandBetweenTheLakes.
    -Living Lands and Waters is also looking for volunteers. Please email Rachel Loomis at [email protected] for more information.

North and South Tornado Cleanup Project:
Project objectives are to clean up the effects of the tornadic storm events of December 2021 by removing some of the damaged and downed timber in the impacted areas to protect life safety and promote resilient forests. Learn more using the links below:

Project NEPA Documents:
-Scoping Letter (.PDF link)- includes project overview and information on how to submit comments on the project
-North Tornado Cleanup Project Decision Memo- Signed (.PDF link)
-South Tornado Cleanup Project Decision Memo- Signed (.PDF link)


Resources:

-Project Frequently Asked Questions (.PDF link)
-North and South Tornado Cleanup Project- General Map (.PDF link)

Salvage Sale Comparative Bid Abstracts:
-Gatlin Salvage Sale
-JB Salvage Sale
-LP Salvage Sale
-Panther Bay Salvage Sale
-Ft. Henry Salvage Sale
-Clay Bay Salvage Sale
-Mammoth Furnace Salvage Sale
-Rock Chalk Salvage Sale
-Crab Bay Salvage Sale
-Hillman Ferry Salvage Sale

-Jhawk Salvage Sale


Salvage Sales Schedule:

-Sale Schedule Letter (.PDF link)

-Timber Sales Schedule (.PDF link)


Salvage Sales Extent Maps:

-LBL Salvage Sale Extent Map- 1 of 2 (.PDF link)
-LBL Salvage Sale Extent Map- 2 of 2 (.PDF link)
-North and South Tornado Cleanup Project- General Map (.PDF link)


Notification of Sales:

If you are interested in receiving notification of these sales, please email Dennis Wilson at [email protected] or send a letter using the mail-in option to the address below. If your company has an email address, please provide it as well as a faster form of communication.

  • If you have any questions, please contact Dennis Wilson at 618-658-1329 (IL office), 270-924-2070 (LBL office), 270-206-1076 (cell phone), or his email address above.
  • Mail-in option: Dennis Wilson, 100 Van Morgan Drive, Golden Pond, KY 42211
  • -Timber Salvage Sale Potential Purchaser Interest Letter (.PDF link)- this letter was mailed to interested parties on January 22, 2022 to glean interest on proposed post-tornado timber salvage sales at Land Between the Lakes.

Why do our land management decisions involve salvage work?

  • As forestry professionals, our job is to properly manage the productivity and health of our nation’s forests. Our proposed timber cleanup efforts are critical in achieving that. A particularly intense natural event, like tornadoes, can cause lasting damage that makes it harder for the forest to recover. The forests may need help to return to safer and more resilient conditions.
  • Removing, or salvaging, the damaged timber will help the forest recover by reducing potential source points for insect infestations, disease outbreaks, and localized, catastrophic wildfire intensities, which will ultimately improve wildlife habitat.
  • Salvage work will help return the tornado-impacted areas to safe and productive conditions, provide economic opportunities to communities, and reduce threats to adjacent, undamaged stands.
  • By harvesting these damaged and dead trees, we maximize the value of our forest resource, which also helps offset the costs of critical recovery efforts necessary to return these impacted areas to healthy, thriving lands.
  • Rapid deterioration of storm-damaged trees is of concern; thus, timely action is needed. Removing the damaged timber while it still has value allows for post-tornado recovery to occur expediently and at a significantly reduced cost.
  • All revenue generated from post-storm timber salvage efforts will remain within Land Between the Lakes. These funds will directly support critical on-the-ground needs, which may include post-storm recovery efforts, road improvements, trail maintenance, and other programs.
  • The use of timber sales as a tool to achieve this type of work is allowable by the standards and guidelines of the Land Between the Lakes Land and Resource Management Plan.

More Resources:
-Scoping Letter (.PDF link), includes overview of the North and South Tornado Cleanup Project
-North Tornado Cleanup Project Decision Memo- Signed (.PDF link)
-South Tornado Cleanup Project Decision Memo- Signed (.PDF link)
-Project Frequently Asked Questions (.PDF link)

How can I have a safe visit to Land Between the Lakes?

  • Numerous downed and damaged trees have resulted in impassible trails, dangerous conditions, and public safety concerns in impacted areas. Before your visit, check the Alerts page on our website for storm and recovery-related closures and notices. Maps and trail information are available at the Golden Pond Visitor Center and/or our website
  • Do not enter tornado-impacted areas. Storm-damaged trees can fall unpredictably, causing injury or death. You are responsible for your own safety. Use extreme caution when travelling through storm-impacted areas.
  • Please do not attempt to move, cut, or clear any storm debris as it is extremely dangerous.
  • While road clearing from the tornado damage has been completed, visitors should use caution on roads. Repair work is ongoing and there is the potential that trees could fall. Please report any downed trees to LBL as it is safely possible via phone (270.924.2000), email ([email protected]), or Facebook Messenger (@LBLNatlRecArea).
Storm-twisted hazard tree from a tornado
Storm-damaged hazard trees are incredibly dangerous and can cause serious injury or death.

Shoreline Debris Cleanups: Volunteers Needed!

Smiling volunteers sit with a pile of trash collected at shoreline cleanup
Smiling volunteers after a very successful post-tornado shoreline cleanup! Photo by Joel Quimby.

  • Check our Flickr page often for photos of storm damage, shoreline cleanups, and recovery efforts.

Links to Current and Past NEPA Projects

  • What Is NEPA?

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a decision-making policy that requires Federal agencies to consider the impacts of their actions on the environment.

  • Developing / Under Analysis

    View proposed projects that we are analyzing under the NEPA process.

  • Project Archive

    View past proposed actions that underwent the NEPA process.