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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

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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

Forest study shows value of protecting streams

Forest buffers around streams during logging projects can help keep the water cool

A long-term study in Oregon shows the value of protecting streams with forest buffers during logging projects.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A long-term study conducted across 33 sites in Oregon shows how important it is to protect stream corridors with tree buffers during logging projects.

Stream temperatures are a particular concern for cold-water fish such as trout and salmon. State regulations in Oregon mandate that forest management activities should not increase temperatures by more than 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

The study found that forest treatments on private lands resulted in temperature increases of 1.3 degrees, while there was no difference in temperatures on state forest lands. The researchers made no conclusions as to whether temperature increase on private forest lands is a concern for fish health. It was only designed to examine regulatory stream temperature compliance. Continue reading

Summit County: Light-on-the-land logging?

Welcome to the Forest Service’s idea of forest ‘restoration’ in a popular recreation area, where there were good signs of regeneration

Heavy duty logging is under way at the Old Dillon Reservoir trailhead in Summit County, Colorado, between Frisco and Dillon.

SUMMIT COUNTY — During an early morning dog-walking session along the Dillon Dam Road, I drove past the Old Dillon Reservoir trailhead and did a quick double-take. After previous thinning and some selective cutting, the Forest Service has apparently decided to go back and finish off what was left of the forest in that area once and for all. Continue reading

Summit County: Summer logging under way

Logging slated in Lake Hill area

Old Dillon Reservoir from atop Lake Hill.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Hikers at the Old Dillon Reservoir Trail will see loggers at work clearing beetle-killed trees from the area. The work is aimed at addressing the effects of the pine beetle epidemic, and the Old Dillon Reservoir Authority is also planning on starting its enlargement project soon.


There may be operations every day during the week. The public should not be surprised to see a lot of truck activity and trees coming down. The trails should not be directly impacted, but people on the trails may see operations.

The public is asked to please stay away from operations.  Please contact the Dillon Ranger Station at 970-468-5400 with any questions.

This work is part of ongoing projects on Dillon Ranger District this summer, including the White River Wildland Urban Interface Stewardship Project (about 1300 acres) and the Keystone Stewardship Project (about 1000 acres). Hazard tree removal on roads and trails will also be occurring throughout the summer.

Summit County: More hazard tree logging

A couple of trees knocked over by winds lay across a spur trail in the Old Dillon Reservoir area.

Popular local roads and trails affected; Forest Service asking people to stay away

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Hikers beware — Forest Service timber crews will working to clear hazard trees from along popular trails and roads the next few days. The agency is asking people to stay away while the tree-felling is in progress.

Here’s a list of the affected trails:
Meadow Creek
North Tenmile

Spruce Creek
Crystal Creek
Frey Gulch
Rock Island
Prospect Hill Road
Brush Creek

“We ask that forest users avoid these areas so that our crews can make the most efficient use of their time,” said Dillon District Ranger Jan Cutts. “All forest users should expect delays when encountering tree felling operations. We ask for continued cooperation to ensure both public safety and that of our crews.”

The operations will continue indefinitely depending on crew availability. Hazard trees located within 110 percent of the height of the tallest tree from the edge of the trail or road will be felled. Felling operations are expected to run between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The above trails and roads were identified as a priority because of the high amount of use.

Report: Illegal rainforest logging drops 22 percent

This image from the Wikimedia Commons shows a rainforest in Peru along the banks of the Amazon.

Consumer interest, combined with enforcement in producer countries, can yield results, researcher say

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A London-based think tank says illegal logging has dropped worldwide, but also warns that loggers are probably getting better at hiding illegal activities, and that China and Japan need to cut their imports of illegally logged wood.

Chatham House, an international think tank, says its study on illegal logging is the most thorough assessment of issue to-date. According to the data the researchers examined. illegal logging has dropped  by as much as 50 percent in Cameroon, between 50 a 75 percent in the Brazilian Amazon and by 75 percent in Indonesia. Total global production of illegal timber has fallen by about 22 percent since 2002. Continue reading

Most-viewed stories July 1 & 2

Click on the headline below to view the photo essay on the Swan Mountain clear cut.

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By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The most-viewed stories from the past 24 hours included a photo essay from one of Summit County’s clear-cut beetle kill areas, as well the most recent efforts by federal officials to track the path of the oil spill and predict when it might southern Florida. We also covered local and regional wildfire news. Check the headlines and share this link with friends.


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