There will be no more updates after this last one for the dead box elders that had been leaning onto the historic Felton Covered Bridge. ( https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/135014809/posts/747 ) They are gone. A pile of logs and some debris are all that remain.
Because the area is a protected riparian zone, the remaining debris and logs may have been left there intentionally, as an important component to the ecosystem. Nearby dead trunks that will not reach the Bridge when they fall also remain, as well as many other larger dead box elders several yards upstream.
For now, the Felton Covered Bridge is reasonably safe from falling trees.
We can only hope it stays that way.
Environmentalism has a way of complicating things.
Environmentalism should be more concerned with prioritizing the natural ecosystem than preserving vegetation that is interfering with it. Much of the exotic (non-native) underbrush and even a few exotic trees should be eliminated to allow at least some of the displaced native vegetation to recover. Where necessary and appropriate, environmentalism must also make accommodations for safety within an innately hazardous natural setting that happens to be very accessible to the public. More of the dead box elders should be removed or at least cut down to reduce the risk of falling limbs to those visiting the adjacent Felton Covered Bridge Park.
Preservation of assets like the historic Felton Covered Bridge is also important. Trees that are likely to damage the bridge should not be salvaged merely because they are within the protected riparian zone. Because the Felton Covered Bridge is such a landmark for tourists, the view of the Bridge is an important asset as well. Vegetation that would obscure this view should therefore be managed, so that it does not eventually obscure the view as it regenerates within the area vacated by the now absent box elders. There is nothing unnatural about open spaces. Old photographs demonstrate how visible the Felton Covered Bridge had been in the past, and how the flood of 1982 eliminated much of the obscuring vegetation within the riparian zone in a very natural way.
In many situations, planting new trees to replace those that are now gone is actually more unnatural than natural. It certainly does not contribute to the efficiency of a natural ecosystem. The installation of new sycamores, coast lives oaks and bay trees adjacent to the nearby Graham Hill Road Bridge are superfluous to new tree seedlings that appeared naturally in the area vacated by fallen box elders. They were planted with soil amendment, fertilizer and a synthetic polymer gel to retain moisture, and then protected from deer with stakes and mesh cages. They require unnatural supplemental irrigation until they get established, and are so close to each other and other trees, that they will become an unnaturally crowded thicket as they mature. There is nothing natural about such installations!
Nor are such installations inexpensive! They require resources that could be more responsibly allocated to more practical projects.
Environmentalism is another one of those very important concepts that has been compromised by extremism.