Forest Service, stewardship groups team up to replace beetle-killed trees at Blue River campground
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The beetles came, the trees died and now it’s time to help restore the forest. That’s the plan for May 14 at the Blue River campground, north of Silverthorne, where about 120 volunteers are needed to plant a mix of 3,000 native seedlings throughout the barren campsites.
“Throughout most of the Dillon Ranger District, regeneration will occur naturally,” said Ken Waugh, the recreation staff officer on the Dillon Ranger District. “Young lodgepole and, in many areas, aspen have already started to come in. Re-establishing a forest in and around developed campgrounds is especially important because trees provide screening and shade which are essential to provide the natural setting that campers desire,” he added.
The Blue River Campground in Silverthorne is one of many Summit County campgrounds that were closed following logging of dead trees destroyed by the mountain pine beetle.
This project is part of Summit County’s ongoing efforts to reforest areas devastated by the mountain pine beetle. The effort is being coordinated by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service.
Who: About 125 volunteers are needed to help with the planting effort. No experience is necessary. Volunteers will join small crews of 10-15, led by skilled crew leaders. This is a family-friendly volunteer project and youth ages 8 and up are invited to participate with adult supervision.
What: Volunteers will plant a mix of native tree seedlings, including lodge pole pine and blue spruce. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for volunteers.
When: May 14, 9am to 4pm
Where: Blue River Campground, White River National Forest, 6 miles north of Silverthorne
To Volunteer: Volunteers must pre-register to ensure adequate supplies. Please register via the project calendar on Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado’s website at www.voc.org or call 303-715-1010.