Back in October, we began getting inquiries about why trees were being cut down along the Schuylkill River Trail near the Spring Mill Train Station. This is something we have not not gotten to as of yet. Luckily, for our readers waiting for an answer, The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has the answer.
From the coalition:
Over the weekend of September 9th and 10th, an Amtrak transmission wire came down and set a tree on fire between Shawmont and the Montgomery County Line. This may been caused by a line of thunderstorms that crossed the area late on Saturday, September 9th. We got our first report of clear-cutting on the Philadelphia side a few days later. When we asked Montgomery County Parks Director, Dave Clifford about it we found out that Amtrak did not initially contact the County before clear-cutting began.
Eventually, Michelle Harris, Montgomery Parks Region 1 Manager of Montgomery County Parks, Trails, & Historic Sites was able to contact Amtrak. Amtrak was resolute in its plan to clear-cut the corridor site and Harris was unable to convince them to save the old-growth trees. The County only has a small easement, just 20 feet, only a few feet wider than the trail itself.
The coalition ended by stating it expects “Amtrak to be good neighbors and environmental stewards by remediating the area damaged by the clear-cutting and improving the aesthetics of the trail’s viewshed.” Those concerned can all Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL.