A powerful storm swept through our region on July 9th leaving behind a trail of damage. Along with many members of our community, Black Rock Forest (BRF) is dealing with the impact of over 6-8 inches of rain within several hours. Our efforts have now shifted from Emergency Response to Recovery. BRF sustained extensive damage to its Lumber Barn and Shop buildings (the base for forest conservation operations). Additionally, there was significant damage to the roads and trails, including many that are heavily used by the public and BRF staff, students and research scientists. The damage to the Lumber Barn was so severe that the Cornwall Highway Department supervised demolition of the building on Monday, July 10.
Storm-related damage includes:
- We anticipate financial losses from the Shop and Lumber Barn to be greater than half a million dollars. There will be additional recovery costs.
- Losses include the buildings, bridges, and tools. We also lost irreplaceable scientific samples, historic artifacts from the beginning of the research forest, and milled lumber from special and historic trees in BRF.
- Many forest roads, including the main access road, have sustained considerable damage.
- Trails have also been damaged. Hikers, students and researchers alike can expect to encounter fallen trees, downed tree limbs and erosion which may make trails more difficult to navigate or impassable. Trail bridges may be severely damaged or missing. We ask that visitors exercise extreme caution over the next few weeks as we work to clear the roads and trails.
- Priority is being given to emergency repairs of critical infrastructure. Forest Manager Matt Brady and BRF staff are working to clear debris, repair roadways, and stabilize the damaged structures in the Shop area as rapidly as possible.
- The parking lots and trails are now open to the public, but we continue to urge visitors to exercise caution when walking/hiking, especially at stream crossings which may no longer have foot bridges.
To read Black Rock Forest’s full press release click here.