The first month of the 2017 Bull River calendar, themed “A Rugged Backdrop”, features a few images of the Cabinet Mountains with the Bull River snaking far below. The Cabinet Mountains, including the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness and the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, are the headwaters of the Bull River. Indeed, these mountains are a rugged landscape, and a contrast to the flat valley bottom with the mainstem Bull River rolling through.
Because the mountains are so steep in this area, the roads that have been built on them for logging access are in many places unstable. For example, here is an aerial image (courtesy Google Earth) of a forest service road in the Dry Creek drainage (which drains into Bull River) from 2011:
Here is the same view on Google Earth from 2012:
The tan spot in the 2012 image is a road failure that developed on Dry Creek road in just one season. This road and others that are built in such steep country have to potential to continue failing, which could potentially add a large amount of sediment to the Bull River. The Bull River is listed as impaired for sediment, so it is important to reduce the potential for this sediment source to contribute additional sediment to the Bull River. This is why, in addition to working on a large re-vegetation project along the banks of the Bull River, the Lower Clark Fork Watershed Group and the Green Mountain Conservation District are working with the United State Forest Service to decommission some of the most unstable sections of road in the Dry Creek drainage.
Read about the 2017 Bull River Calendar and the historical images it features here!