Road development and access are critical to harvesting success. Road surfaces require time to set up. Therefore, having the roads built in advance (a year ahead or longer) is ideal. Road surface quality is determined mostly by how well water running across it is controlled. Culverts, ditches, water bars and the use of geotextile fabrics to control upwards seepage and gravel all contribute to a dry surface. Proper grading keeps the road surface in good shape for vehicle use.
Pre-built roads provide access for the block layout crews, shortening their distance to work and lowering costs to the company. Good roads provide access for more than just logging and reforestation. Recreational users appreciate all weather roads for many activities from the self-propelled sports to horse riding, hunting, trapping and the motorized sports. Good roads can also provide access in the event of lightning strikes and wildfires, avalanches and rescue operations.
Harvesting in 2018 included the Packsaddle, Dave Henry, East Canoe, West Canoe, Swift Creek and West Ridge areas. VCF limits the winter harvesting in the Dave Henry and the West Canoe to mid-December, due to high avalanche activity in these areas. The VCF hired local Avalanche Technician Peter Amann to provide training, monitor the high avalanche hazard conditions and update the Avalanche Safety Plan.