New study helps quantify logging as part of the forest carbon cycle
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Scientists and resource managers have long been trying to solve the carbon-balance equation from using wood for energy, but they may have to add a new factor to their calculations.
A research team led by scientists with Dartmouth College found that logging releases large amounts of carbon from the soil. The processes by which that happens aren’t completely understood, but the findings suggest that calls for an increased reliance on forest biomass should be re-evaluated.
Logging company leaves numerous spills, damaged vegetation
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Forest Service officials with the Dillon Ranger District said they will investigate several small oil spills at a long-term logging camp at the abandoned campground at Officers Gulch.
The agency authorized the logging crew’s stay at the site, where several people lived in campers most of the winter and stored equipment and fuel. In one area, diesel fuel leakage from an old generator spilled off the pavement and into the forest and other spills of unknown materials are visible in the camping area.
Proposed Senate bill would require widespread national forest logging
*This story has been corrected to include Sen. Michael Bennet as the primary author of the proposed bill. That information was left out of the previous version due to an editing error.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal land managers could get wider authority for more backcountry logging under a new bill proposed in the U.S. Senate by Michael Bennet (D-CO), along with co-sponsors Mark Udall (D-CO), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Max Baucus (D-MT).
Stewardship contracts to help sustain forest products and energy businesses
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —The U.S. Forest Service will spend millions to prop up the wood product industry in Colorado and to subsidize more widespread logging projects in the name of forest health, restoration and renewable energy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week announced two 10-year Forest Service stewardship contracts worth a total of $13.4 million. The two contracts identify projects that will treat a minimum of 20,000 acres in two national forests, providing woody biomass for potential energy production.
“Today’s announcement supports our commitment to accelerate restoration of our national forests and to generate and sustain jobs in rural America,” said USDA Under Secretary Harris Sherman. “Not only will these contracts help us alleviate the impacts of the mountain pine beetle infestation and reduce the threats of catastrophic wildfire, but they also will offer a supply of woody biomass that will be used to produce low-cost heat and a clean, renewable source of electricity.” Continue reading “Colorado: U.S. Forest Service offers up more logging subsidies”→
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 “Colorado: Can we log our way to forest health?”→
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.