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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2006
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Bankhead restores historic shelter

BANKHEAD NATIONAL FOREST — Using mules and native materials, Bankhead National Forest officials repaired the historic Sipsey Picnic Shelter, which is now open to the public again.

The Civilian Conservation Corps built the shelter in the late 1930s. It is within the Sipsey Wild and Scenic River Corridor along the Sipsey Wilderness Trail.

Decades of use had deteriorated the stone foundation of the shelter, causing forest officials to fear its eventual collapse.

The four-week project included repairing a separating section of the foundation by creating a stronger column under the cedar log roof.

The U.S. Forest Service contracted A.E. Sanders Construction of Gadsden to restore the shelter.

The crew used only materials of native origin and mules to carry materials to the worksite. The Sipsey Wilderness encompasses 25,002 undisturbed acres of Bankhead Forest. A river trail and canoe launch are within walking distance from the Sipsey Picnic Shelter.

Kristen Bishop

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