About these ads

Colorado: Can we log our way to forest health?

Still lots of dead trees around the Colorado high country.

Forest health task force session wants to answer that question

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — just a week after Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to support more logging, the Summit County Forest Health Task Force will hold a roundtable to discuss barriers to forest health.

The meeting, which includes lunch, is from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Frisco Community Building, 110 Third Avenue South, Frisco (one block south of Main Street). Participants include: Lyle laverty, Cary Green, Matt Sugar, Bruce Ward, Howard Hallman, Brad Piehl and Sandy Briggs. Please RSVP by calling or emailing Howard Hallman at (719) 491-1807 or future1946@yahoo.com.

Udall last week urged Vilsack to support proactive forest management by utilizing the timber industry to reduce fuel loads in wildfire-prone areas and improve community safety throughout the West. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), John Thune (R-S.D.) signed onto Udall’s letter. Continue reading

About these ads

Breckenridge firefighters quell Barton Road blaze

A piece of logging machinery caught fire near Breckenridge, but firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before they spread to nearby forest lands. Photo courtesy Red, White & Blue Fire District.

Logging equipment destroyed in fire

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Observant neighbors and a quick response by local firefighters Wednesday helped prevent a potential wildfire near Breckenridge.

According to the Red, White & Blue Fire District, firefighters were called to a possible wildland fire in the area just above Barton Road and Airport Road in Breckenridge.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found a piece of heavy equipment used for logging fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters made a quick attack to knock down the fire preventing it from spreading into nearby trees.

A total of seven firefighters worked to extinguish the fire.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a mechanical failure in the engine compartment.  The machine was a total loss and valued at $150,000.

“The quick action of the community seeing smoke and calling 911 helped prevent this fire from spreading,” said deputy chief Jay Nelson. “Our firefighters were able to begin containing and extinguishing this fire before it could spread to the nearby trees and thick pine duff” he said.

Colorado just experienced its worst fire season ever, with deadly blazes along the Front Range destroying several hundred homes. Nationally, wildfires have burned across almost 9 million acres, the most since 2006.

 

Colorado: Hazard tree removal along major highways

Roadside logging is under way in the Colorado high country, as the Forest Service partners with CDOT to remove hazard trees along key highways.

Logging to continue into autumn

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Travelers in the Colorado high country may encounter a few delays and lane closures as the Forest Service and CDOT partner to clear beetle-killed trees from along major highways.

“Ensuring these major transportation corridors are clear of dead trees is certainly critical to keeping people safe and traffic flowing,” said Cal Wettstein, Rocky Mountain region incident commander for the Forest Service.

Work has already started along I-70 in Summit County and motorists can expect to see more tree removal along US Highway 40 over Berthoud Pass and State Hwy. 125. The dead trees pose a threat to public safety as they weaken over time and may fall without warning along these popular transportation routes. Continue reading

Colorado: Forest Service set to close popular West Magnolia recreation area for logging and forest restoration project

Pine beetles and wind storms have created dangerous conditions around trails near Nederland

Logging to close popular Forest Service recreation area most of the summer.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Forest Service crews will tackle yet another patch of beetle-killed forest sometime in early June, logging about 330 acres in the popular West Magnolia recreation area near Nederland.

The area will be closed for most of the summer, as the agency tries to mitigate safety concerns associated with intense fire potential, and hazard trees weakened by mountain pine beetles, as well as recent wind events. Continue reading

Conservation groups challenge USFS logging plan that could take down old-growth trees on Arizona’s Kaibab Plateau

Ancient ponderosa pines marked for logging in the Kaibab National Forest. PHOTO COURTESY CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY.

Conservation groups have blocked similar logging plans twice before

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — For all the talk of restoration and ecoystem protection, the U.S. Forest Service sometimes still seems intent on logging old-growth timber. Sparking the latest showdown, the agency in January approved a 25,000-acre timber sale in the Kaibab National Forest, near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Conservation groups challenging the project say it could harm rare, threatened species like northern goshawks. A source population of goshawks lives on the Kaibab Plateau. According to a Forest Service report, goshawks are “vulnerable to extirpation or extinction in Arizona.”

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club have appealed the timber sale for the third time in a decade. The Forest Service has tried five different variations of the timber sale. Two were blocked by appeals and litigation, while the Forest Service withdrew the other two previous proposals. Continue reading

Summit County: Logging traffic expected in Mesa Cortina

Logging crews are making progress clearing dead trees from Summit County.

Contractor clearing out beetle-killed trees

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Residents of Mesa Cortina and Wildernest can expect more logging traffic this winter, as a contractor removes trees cut during ongoing forest health and wildfire hazard mitigation work. The project, a part of the White River Wildland Urban Interface Stewardship project in Summit County.

Logging trucks will use Upper Royal Buffalo Drive, Twenty Grand Road, and the Ryan Gulch Road.

Please check the White River National Forest Alerts webpage for updated information.If you have any questions, please contact the Dillon Ranger District at 970-468-5400.

Guidelines to help avoid risk in beetle-kill areas (from the White River NF website):

  • Avoid dense patches of trees.  They can fall without warning.
  • Stay out of the forest when there are strong winds.  If you are in the forest and the winds kick up, head to a clearing out of reach of any trees.
  • Place campers and tents in areas where they will not be hit by a falling tree.
  • When driving in remote areas of the forest, park close to a main road rather than on a spur or one-way section.  If trees fall across the road you may be trapped.
  • Bring an axe or chainsaw to remove fallen trees if you become trapped.
  • Do not rely on cell phones for safety.  There is no coverage in many areas of the fores

Summit County: Clearcutting the Frisco Peninsula

Major logging operations continue in beetle-kill areas

One of the few lodgepole seedlings to survive the industrial clearcutting on the north shore of the Frisco Peninsula.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Logging crews have worked their way around the Frisco Peninsula to the northeast-facing shore and are cutting down to within a few feet of the trail and the boundary with Denver Water land. The logging is several miles away from the nearest neighborhood. There are no power lines in the area, and no streams, although the clear-cutting could protect Dillon Reservoir from the direct impacts of a fire in that particular area. Here’s a look at how it’s going. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,452 other followers