TD News, Winter 2002

Missoula Technology and Development Center

Deer Repellents

A photo of a deer in a pasture.
Deer foraging in a fenced pasture used during deer repellent tests.

Foraging deer can severely hinder regeneration of newly stocked stands. New chemical deer repellents are continually being developed, but their efficacy varies. Products that may be available or even be registered as repellents are not necessarily effective. Some may contain active ingredients at concentrations below deer avoidance thresholds, while others may not repel the intended species. The Olympia Field Station of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center has conducted studies to identify trends that might help predict the efficacy of repellents. One test evaluated 20 commercial repellents including a variety of ingredients.

The Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC) has published the most recent results in: Comparison of Commercial Deer Repellents (0124-2331-MTDC).

For further information on animal repellents, contact Andy Trent, project leader
phone: 406-329-3912
fax: 406-329-3719

To order a copy of this Tech Tip, contact Jerry Taylor Wolf
MTDC publications
phone: 406-329-3978
fax: 406-329-3719

Chain Saw Backpack

Forest Service recreation, trail, and fire crews need a safe and efficient method of transporting their chain saws from vehicles to the field. Crews routinely cross streams, traverse mountainous country, and hike miles to reach a job site. Traditionally, they have carried the saw by hand or have wrapped their safety chaps around the bar and carried the saw over their shoulder. Both methods pose safety hazards and could lead to serious injuries.

MTDC purchased and tested a number of chain saw backpacks from the United States and Australia. Two designs were durable enough to meet the needs of field crews. These two chain saw backpacks are described in Personal Backpacks for Carrying a Chain Saw (0123-2334-MTDC).

The MacKenzie "Mack" backpack manufactured by Frontline Safety Gear of Cook, MN, is designed to carry the saw engine low with the bar pointing up, while the backpack produced by Epperson Mountaineering of Libby, MT, carries the chain saw with the bar pointing down. Both are constructed of Cordura fabric and can accommodate additional gear along with the saw.

A photo of a firefighter with the MacKenzie backpack on her back, carrying a chainsaw.A photo of a firefighter with the Epperson backpack on her back, carrying a chainsaw.
The MacKenzie backpack carries the saw engine low with the bar pointing up.The Epperson backpack carries the chain saw with the bar pointing down.

For information about the saw backpacks, contact Bob Beckley, project leader
phone: 406-329-3996
fax: 406-329-3719

To order a copy of this Tech Tip, contact Jerry Taylor Wolf
MTDC publications
phone: 406-329-3978
fax: 406-329-3719

Washington Office Engineering FSWeb Home Page

A graphic of the WO Engineering Home Page title.

If your work involves engineering and related disciplines, visit the redesigned Washington office FSWeb home page on the Forest Service's FSWeb Intranet at:

The new page is intended to be a one-stop source for Forest Service engineering information. The page has links to existing engineering resources inside and outside the Forest Service. The regional office, station, area, and Job Corps engineering organizations, and the four detached Washington office engineering units, are all just a click away. More importantly, each engineering program area has its own subsidiary page with lots of good information. All the available electronic standard road, trail, and facilities specifications and drawings are available from this location. Additionally, this page will post Washington office engineering initiatives.

The page includes links to electronic Forest Service manuals and handbooks, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. An updated posting of the Washington office engineering organizational list, complete with phone numbers, is included.

Eventually, Lotus Notes team rooms will be established so persons can ask questions and get tips directly from individuals with on-the-ground experience.

For more information about the new home page, contact Kathie Snodgrass, project leader
phone: 406-329-3922
fax: 406-329-3719

Forest Service Retardant Contract Information Available on CD

An image of the cover of the Retardant Contract CD.
The "Retardant Contract 2001: 2002 Update" CD covers products, airtanker bases, environmental concerns, and more.

The Missoula Technology and Development Center's Wildland Fire Chemical Systems (WFCS) group has prepared a CD-ROM with information about products on the current Forest Service retardant contract and qualified products list. The Retardant Contract 2001: 2002 Update CD includes:

The CD provides the information an incident commander or airtanker base manager will need at a fire anywhere in the Nation. Once a manager knows which tanker bases are providing retardant, the CD will let the manager see what retardant is used at a particular base. The appropriate material safety data sheets are easy to find and to print. The CD also contains links to the WFCS Web site: /rm/fire/

The WFCS group would like to make this CD as useful as possible. To order the "Retardant Contract 2001: 2002 Update" CD, or to submit comments that could help us prepare the next version, please send a message to:

Recreation Sourcebook Web Site

An image of the Recreation Sourcebook main Web page.
The Recreation Sourcebook Web site will help recreation managers find documents on backcountry and dispersed recreation management issues.

This Web site was created as a result of the Intermountain Region's search for documents dealing with backcountry and dispersed recreation. The collection of documents was broadened to include management issues concerning recreation impacts and conflicts and management guidelines relating to seasons of use, physical settings, and carrying capacities. Users can search for documents by author or keyword. A limited number of documents are available electronically. Abstracts are available online for most documents. Documents can be ordered directly from the Recreation Sourcebook Web site at: These documents will be mailed from the Rocky Mountain Research Library or the Aldo Leopold Research Institute.

For more information about the Recreation Sourcebook Web site, contact Mary Ann Davies, project leader
phone: 406-329-3981
fax: 406-329-3719

Wetland Trail Design and Construction

An image of the cover of the Wetland Trail Design and Construction publication.
The Wetland Trail Design and Construction report describes traditional techniques and materials for constructing trails in wet areas.

Wetland Trail Design and Construction (0123-2833-MTDC) is an 82-page report describing traditional techniques and materials for constructing trails in wetlands. It covers a variety of the structures including: turnpikes, cribbing, wood piles, bog bridges, helical piles, puncheon, and boardwalks. Finishing details for decks, posts, and rail systems are also included. The report contains many excellent line drawings and photographs illustrating the various construction methods and tools used in building wetland trails. Bob Steinholtz, a trail consultant from Lakewood, CO, and Brian Vachowski, MTDC project leader, are the authors. A single copy of the report was recently mailed to each Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management office in the country.

For more information, contact Brian Vachowski, project leader
phone: 406-329-3935
fax: 406-329-3719
e-mail: bvachowski@

To order a copy of this document, contact Jerry Taylor Wolf
MTDC publications
phone: 406-329-3978
fax: 406-329-3719

Quarters Tools: Help for Persons Who Work With Employee Quarters

A photo of an employees' quarters building.
The Quarters Tools toolkit can help you with questions you may have about employee quarters.

The Quarters Tools toolkit has been added to the MTDC Facility Toolbox. This toolkit is designed to help line officers manage their quarters buildings and tenants, but will also be helpful for facility engineers, business managers, and others who work with employee quarters.

Have you ever wondered why the Forest Service is in the landlord business at some locations but not at others? Wondered what the size and luxury standards are for Forest Service housing? Worried about how to find funding to maintain and improve your unit's quarters? Wondered how in the world someone comes up with the rental rates for Forest Service housing? Scratched your head over the accessibility requirements for that bunkhouse that needs to be renovated? Wondered if you needed to let residents know about lead-based paint?

Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management employees can learn the answers to all these questions and more on the Forest Service's internal computer network at

For more information about the Quarters Tools toolkit, contact Kathie Snodgrass, project leader
phone: 406-329-3922
fax: 406-329-3719

Real-Time Particulate Monitor Report

An image of the Real-Time Smoke Particulate Sampling publication.

The Real-Time Smoke Particulate Sampling: Fire Storm 2000 (0125-2832-MTDC) report is now available electronically and in print. The report is the third in a series MTDC has published comparing results from optical real-time particulate monitors to gravimetric or filter-based samplers. In this study, MTDC collocated several commercial real-time monitors with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Federal Reference monitors in Missoula and Hamilton, MT, during the wildfire season of 2000. The real-time instruments included nephelometers and an aethalometer.

An electronic copy of the report is available on the Forest Service's internal computer network at:

To order a copy of the report, contact Jerry Taylor Wolf
MTDC publications
phone: 406-329-3978
fax: 406-329-3719

We Have Moved

A photo of the front of the new MTDC building.
Our new center just west of the airport in Missoula.

The Missoula Technology and Development Center has moved to a new office by the Rocky Mountain Research Station's fire laboratory near the Missoula airport.

The new office will allow employees and equipment scattered at seven different locations to be consolidated. In addition, the new office will help the center develop new technology for the Forest Service. The building includes chemistry and electronic laboratories, a textile shop, testing facilities, a photo studio, a machine shop, and a training center.

The new address is: 5785 Highway 10 West; Missoula, MT 59808-9361.

Our phone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and FSWeb home page address are unchanged.

If you're in Missoula, stop by and visit us in our new offices. In the meantime, all of us are recovering from the move. That will mean some delays in the delivery of documents and videos and in other services we provide. We apologize for these delays and hope to be back to normal soon.

Additional information on the move and the new building is available on the Forest Service's internal computer network at:

Missing Publication Orders From the MTDC Web Site

MTDC received no electronic publication orders from our Web site during late February and March. The problem was due to a change in the way the Forest Service network handles e-mail addresses. We have modified our Web site to fix the problem.

Orders placed electronically from the MTDC Web site between February 21 and March 27 were lost. If you placed an electronic order from the Web site during that period, please place the order again at our Web site or call us at 406-329-3978. We're sorry for any inconvenience this problem may have caused.

San Dimas Technology and Development Center

MIOX Water Treatment Systems

A photo of two men using an MIOX Water Treatment System.
These MIOX P-3 water treatment systems have proven effective at Forest Service and BLM campgrounds that do not have access to treated water.

The San Dimas Technology and Development Center (SDTDC) continues to support the installation of MIOX P-3 water treatment systems at campgrounds and similar locations that do not have access to treated water. The installation of three additional units this year brings the total number of field installations to 16, including one installation for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM asked SDTDC to assist with the unit's installation and with the design review of the water collection and distribution system. Fourteen more MIOX units are awaiting installation, including a second unit for the BLM.

A report published in 2000 (0123-1201-SDTDC) summarizes the performance and history of the MIOX P-3. The unit's performance can only be described as excellent. Minor problems are reported from time to time, but most of them have been associated with operator errors or problems with plumbing systems, not with the performance of the unit.

The center has entered into a partnership agreement with the National Park Service to test a Strainrite bag filter as a possible replacement for the 3M bag filter. The 3M filters are no longer available for drinking water applications. The Strainrite filter appears to be a suitable replacement for the 3M filters. It performed well against the San Dimas filter test protocol (one of only two offsite test protocols accepted by the States of California and Washington for testing the filtration efficiency of bag and cartridge filters). The test results have been submitted to the States of California and Washington for review. If the Strainrite filter is approved, it will save thousands of dollars for both the National Park Service and the Forest Service.

For more information about this project, contact Brenda Land, sanitary engineer
phone: 909-509-1267, ext. 219
fax: 909-592-2309

Using Landscape Timbers to Mark Unpaved Parking Areas

A photo of cars parked randomly.
A A photo of cars parked orderly.
These photos show the problems created by random parking on the Angeles National Forest in California and the benefits of controlled parking after an unpaved, unmarked parking area was marked with landscape timbers and chalk striping.

The San Dimas Technology and Development Center was asked to find a relatively inexpensive, effective way to mark unpaved parking areas. A test was conducted in a high-use parking area in the Angeles National Forest in California. Striping and landscape timbers were the least expensive products to help mark the parking area. The timbers, which cost about $2 each, were used to delineate the parking perimeter and some parking spaces. The 8-foot timbers were primed and painted safety yellow. Holes were drilled 8 inches from each end.

The timbers around the perimeter of the parking lot were anchored with 1/2-inch rebar driven through the holes in the ends of the timbers. When the layout was complete, the timbers defined the parking lot and the parking spaces.

Visitors used the landscape timbers to determine where to park. A chalk line was added to the center of the large lot to further delineate another parking area. Visitors not only used this simple mark to line up their cars, they repeated the pattern closer to the road even though that area was not marked with chalk. Visitors recognized both striping and timbers as symbols for parking.

In heavily used recreation areas (such as in Southern California where these methods were tried), it may be advantageous to pave parking areas and paint stripes to delineate parking spaces. In areas that do not regularly receive heavy use, landscape timbers and chalk striping can be used to mark parking areas for occasional periods of heavy use.

A report is being prepared on this project.

For more information about this project, contact Dexter Meadows, recreation program leader
phone: 909-599-1267, ext. 276
fax: 909-592-2309

Riparian Restoration

A drawing of a riparian ecosystem.
This drawing illustrates the relationships between parts of the riparian ecosystem.

A riparian restoration report being prepared for publication this fall describes the structural and functional characteristics of the riparian ecosystem and shows how these characteristics are the key to maintaining ecological integrity. The document describes many attributes found only in riparian ecosystems and discusses the advantages of balancing recreation use while maintaining ecological integrity.

Riparian ecosystems serve the same role in the environment that canaries served in coal mines. Their health provides warnings about erosion and pollution problems that threaten forest streams, rivers, lakes, and even oceans. They offer a lesson in complex ecology and show how interrelated and interdependent ecosystems are. Riparian ecosystems show how even the most innocent and invisible acts - fertilizing farm lands; mowing beside lakes, rivers, and streams; fishing from streambanks; camping at the water's edge; and other recreation activities - can affect the environment.

The report outlines how, in the early stages of project planning, a field assessment conducted by a team of specialists can lead to a clear identification of the riparian ecosystem and the outside influences that contribute to its health or infirmity. It clearly defines and identifies the ecological functions and processes that must remain undisturbed during and after construction projects. It further details soil preparation, planting methods, monitoring, and adaptive management techniques.

The report also has examples of sites before and after restoration and includes an appendix with tools and equipment, survey techniques, techniques for handling plant materials, protective barriers, and resources for more information. This report will be available in the fall.

A photo of a tent near a water's edge.
Seemingly innocent acts, such as camping at the water's edge, can harm riparian ecosystems.

For more information about this project, contact Ellen Eubanks, landscape architect
phone: 909-599-1267, ext. 225
fax: 909-592-2309

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Disclaimer: The Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed this information for the guidance of its employees, its contractors, and its cooperating Federal and State agencies, and is not responsible for the interpretation or use of this information by anyone except its own employees. The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this document is for the information and convenience of the reader, and does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 2027202600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call 2027205964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

This page last modified April 5, 2002

Visitor since April 1, 2002