The Forest Service wants public comment on a far-reaching plan to treat beetle-killed forests at Keystone Ski Area.
Forest Service, Vail Resorts propose plan to tackle beetle-kill at Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek; public input wanted at April 21 open house
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service and ski areas in Summit and Eagle counties are preparing to meet the pine beetle onslaught head-on, with treatments aimed first and foremost at removing dead trees that could threaten visitors, workers and facilities. The broader goal is to address forest health by promoting diversity and vigor in forested areas. At the same time, the resorts need to figure out how the treatments — possibly including patch clearcuts in some areas and thinning in others — will affect ski runs.
The White River National Forest this week announced public meetings for the projects, to be authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, a law that expedites preparation and implementation of forest health and fuel reduction projects on publicly owned lands.
Project leader Dan Sokal described the proposal as “a range of vegetative treatments for overall forest health, with the removal of standing dead trees that could threaten public safety as the top priority.” Re-planting key areas with seedlings and protecting some high-value trees with pesticides are also included in the range of treatment options.
In Summit County, only Keystone Ski Area is covered under this proposal. Beaver Creek and Vail are also included. Forest health work at Breckenridge Ski Area is covered under a separate study, Sokal said. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Forest health, forests, Keystone, pine beetles and wildfires, public lands, ski industry, Ski Resorts, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Beaver Creek, Colorado, Forest health, Keystone, pine beetles, ski areas, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Vail | 5 Comments »