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Plant Overgrowth And Benchmarks

California Bear

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One of the benchmarks I was looking for this weekend was in an area that was completely overgrown with chapparal.


For those who don't know what chapparal is like, the plant life is mostly woody shrubs that often have spines. They grow very densely, usually all the way to the ground and often reaching a height of 8-10'. It is nearly impossible to pass through a thick patch of chapparal unless you are a rabbit, lizard or bird.


Back to my question: The station is located inside of a National Forest. About the only way I can see to get to the station involves a set of loppers or possibly a powered hedge trimmer.


Seeing as how this is on National Forest land, how would you handle this? Let it go or come back with a lopper and shears? Has anyone ever removed or trimmed overgrowth to reach a mark?

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Many of the marks near me are in the Ottawa Nat't Forest. Many area a real difficult to find when everything is green. I was looking for one last week and walked right into the 2 ft high metal witness post hiding in tall ferns. Last summer I only found about 1 in 5 along this 20 mile stretch of woods road. Went down that way this spring on a fishing trip and found just about all that are still there (2 were destroyed by road work. What was impossible to see last year was in plain sight from the winter snow pushing all the dead vegetation down. All I did was drive slowly, watch the mileage and the gps, I could spot many of them sticking up.


I don't let anything stop me from trimming brush with a machete or loper's. You can drive around all year and never see any USFS people. Just don't butcher up anything so that it looks bad. Some stuff I cut last summer, can't even tell I was there today, it grew back.

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Quite a few of the old benchmarks here in New Englang are overgrown so I always carry a pair of brush cutters and a folding saw in my bag to clear the area I'm working. I also carry a treasure hunter's tool that will cut roots and dig. I got that from Duluth trading.

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Second, I would suggest winter as being the better time of year to look for this mark. After the foliage has dropped. Maybe a metal detector would help.


Unfortunately, we don't get real seasons here in So Cal. The chaparral doesn't really drop its leaves at any time during the year. A metal detector wouldn't help because I can't get within 50' of the mark's location.


Unless I trim back bushes, the only way I am going to see this one is if a wild fire burns off the brush.

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