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This Elk Valley photo shows dead and dying Port-Orford cedar on the Orleans Ranger District.

Merv George Jr., supervisor of Six Rivers National Forest in Eureka, Calif., announced that with the onset of the rainy season, some roads and campgrounds in the central and northern parts of the forest have been closed to motor-vehicle use to reduce the risk of spreading Phytophthora lateralis (PL), the non-native pathogen that causes Port-Orford-cedar (POC) root disease.

According to the kymkemp.com, these seasonal road and campground closures are in effect until road surfaces dry out in late spring or early summer, minimizing the potential spread of the disease. Under wet conditions, pathogen-laden soil is easily spread from infested to non-infested areas by vehicles, including mountain bikes, off-highway vehicles and heavy equipment, as well as by hikers, hunters, horses and dogs.

“Even if you’re just hiking in these wet areas, cleaning off your muddy boots before walking behind a closed gate can prevent the spread of the disease from one watershed to another,” said Jeff Jones, the forest’s vegetation program manager. “It’s important to observe these POC road closures, because the pathogen generally doesn’t spread into areas where there is no access.”

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