Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Big Larch boat launch installed, log haul begins


December 6, 2018

Will Shoutis, US Forest Service

Thompson Contracting, Inc. used bladder barriers and pumps to dry out the area for the new concrete blocks to rebuild the boat launch at Big Larch Campground.

SEELEY LAKE – The installation of the new boat ramp at Big Larch Campground is nearly complete. Despite the late start, Thompson Contracting, Inc. has been working diligently to complete the work before freeze-up.

"They got started a little late but they are staying committed to working. They are out here rain or shine," said Will Shoutis who is detailed into Katie Knotek's position on the Seeley Lake Ranger District until Matthew Walter starts in January.

The crew pumped three bladders full of water and then pumped out the water from the space for the boat launch. They tore out the old concrete and put in the two new ramps. The crew said once they dried out the area, they had to keep working until the new ramps were in place. They finished placing the concrete blocks in the lake at 12:30 a.m. Nov. 29.

They still have to complete the approach to the water and secure and place the dock that will run between the two ramps.

Clean up continues in the campground from the logging activity.

Shoutis applied for funding through the Recreation Enhancement Act. This act allows funds collected from campground fees to be used by the local Districts for work in the campgrounds.

The District rented a mini-excavator and a two-person crew spent nearly a week consolidating the slash piles, moving them out of the campsites and away from small trees and covering them so they can be burned earlier in the spring.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Bull Creek Forestry began hauling the estimated 90 loads of logs last week.

"The plan is to have most of these gone before the campground opens rather than having them sitting in the campsites all summer," said Shoutis

In the spring, the Montana Conservation Corps and local district crews will be burning the piles and raking a site perimeter around each campsite so it is ready for campers. Shoutis said there is still a significant amount of work that will need to be done. While campers will use some of the slash left on the ground, because there is so much, it won't go away that quickly. Raking will also help promote grass

"The more raking we do, the more grass we get," said Shoutis.

Bull Creek Forestry started hauling the log decks last week. The access to the boat launch this winter will depend on the log hauling operation.

Please call the District for the most up-to-date access information, 677-2233.


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