The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Mammoth Cave National Park are marking the completion of a tree removal project on the Nolin River with a ceremony on Sept. 18.
The 1 p.m. ribon cutting at the Tailwater Recreation Area boat ramp located below the Nolin River Dam signals the clearing of hundreds of trees that slid into the river when a major leak occurred at the 114-year-old Lock and Dam Number 6 in November 2016.
Deryck Rodgers is the Army Corps of Engineers natural resources project manager at Nolin River Lake. He said the failure of the dam caused the water level to drop about 10 feet, so the tree-lined banks along the Nolin River became unstable.
“So those trees began to fall into the river," said Rodgers. "There were likely hundreds of trees that blocked regular recreational navigation along the Nolin River. It was unsafe for most paddlers.”
The clearing of the trees means canoers and kayakers can now launch at Nolin River Lake Dam and have a clear paddle along the seven-and-a-half miles to the confluence with the Green River. Rodgers said the public ceremony to mark the clearing of the river includes both an invitation and a warning.
“It’s just encouraging folks to understand two things. One, the river is much safer than it was and much more accessible than it was for the past almost two years. But also to remind folks that it’s an ever-changing river, it’s still a body of water that’s moving and inherently it has dangers.”
The public can check the condition of the river at Mammoth Cave National Park's website.