Comments sought on power line tree clearing in Arapaho National Forest | SkyHiNews.com

Comments sought on power line tree clearing in Arapaho National Forest

The Medicine Bow-Routt, Arapaho and Roosevelt, and White River National Forests (the three Forests) are seeking public comment on the Emergency Powerline Clearing project, a proposal to remove all dead and dying trees (i.e., hazard trees) along power lines crossing National Forest system lands in Northern Colorado.

The three Forests are experiencing a bark beetle epidemic in pine forests, some spruce tree mortality from the spruce bark beetle, and significant loss of aspen trees from sudden aspen decline.

Open Houses are scheduled from 5:00 to 7:00 PM as follows:

Wednesday, Aug. 26: Hahn’s Peak-Bears Ears District Office, 925 Weiss Drive, Steamboat Springs

Thursday, Aug. 27: Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 2150 Centre Ave. Building E, Fort Collins

Wednesday, Sept. 2: Dillon District Office, 680 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne

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“There is an imminent threat to power lines from an increasing number of hazardous trees falling in the three forests, “said Cal Wettstein, commander of the Forest Service’s Bark Beetle Incident Management Team.

There are around 500 miles of distribution and transmission lines on National Forest system lands, across Northern Colorado, including around 40 miles of power lines in roadless areas.

This proposal would allow the Forest Service or utility companies with power lines on the three Forests to fell and/or remove all hazardous trees within approximately 200 feet from the centerline of transmission lines and within 75 feet of centerline of distribution lines, reducing the risk of wildfire starts caused by hazard trees falling across the power lines.

Forest Service Officials authorized the proposal under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, which provides for expedited planning and decision-making for vegetation treatments on National Forest System lands that are experiencing disease or insect epidemics.

If you cannot attend an open house but would like to participate in the development of this project, please send your comments to Mary Ann Chambers, 2150 Centre Ave, Building E, Fort Collins CO, 80526 or e-mail to machambers@fs.fed.us. To be considered in the project analysis comments should be received prior to Oct. 2. As it becomes available, additional information on this project can also be found on the Forest Service web site at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/bark-beetle.

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