Forest Service taking comments on Glenwood Springs-area vegetation management plan
Comments are currently being taken by the White River National Forest for what’s billed as a wildfire management and recreation enhancement plan in the Four Mile Park and Sunlight Mountain Resort areas southwest of Glenwood Springs.
The project area encompasses approximately 33,000 acres within the Fourmile Creek, Camp Creek-East Divide Creek, Thompson Creek and Edgerton Creek-Crystal River watersheds southwest of Glenwood Springs and west of Carbondale.
The so-called County Line project aims to address forest health, as well as improve recreation opportunity and public safety, ski area forest health and the existing road system, according to the Forest Service.
It is designed to provide commercial forest products and/or biomass to local industries, and use prescribed fire to improve wildlife habitat, while reducing the area’s susceptibility to large-scale wildfire, according to a release from the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the WRNF.
“This project is a landscape-level approach to the Fourmile Park area that looks for opportunities to improve forest health and stand diversity to benefit wildlife habitat and reduce fuels,” Kevin Warner, acting district ranger for the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, said in a news release. “Through this project we can achieve a healthier stand that will retain forest cover over the long-term while providing additional benefits to recreation and forest access.”
Components of the proposed plan include:
• Traditional logging methods on about 1,597 acres to enhance forest health.
• Prescribed burns as a means of fuels management and wildlife habitat improvements on approximately 13,661 acres.
• Forest health assessment and treatments on approximately 2,390 acres of National Forest System lands within the Sunlight Ski Area Special Use Permit boundary.
• Glading on approximately 47 acres at the Sunlight ski area.
• Fuel reduction treatments adjacent to existing infrastructure located at the Sunlight Communications site.
• Winter recreation improvements along Forest Road 300, including a parking area for winter non-motorized recreation use, and construction of a snowmobile route.
• Moving the existing gate located at the kiosk on Forest Road 300 to a location farther south along the road to improve access for Christmas tree collection.
• Expand the existing borrow site located on Forest Road 300 to provide rock material for use in maintenance and reconstruction of roads and other facilities located on National Forest System lands.
More project information is available on the project webpage.
Written comments on the plan will be accepted for the next 60 calendar days, commencing Sept. 6, to: Karen Schroyer c/o Shelby Limberis, Forester/Silviculturist, P.O. Box 309, Carbondale, CO 81623-0309, fax: (970) 963-1012.
Electronic comments, including attachments, can be submitted online.
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A report released this month by the Center for Colorado River Studies says that in order to sustainably manage the river in the face of climate change, officials need alternative management paradigms and a different way of thinking compared with the status quo. Estimates about how much water the Upper Colorado River Basin states will use in the future are a problem that needs rethinking, according to the white paper.