Sulphur District finalizes full scale beetle kill management plan | SkyHiNews.com

Sulphur District finalizes full scale beetle kill management plan

Sulphur District Ranger Craig Magwire signed a decision on Friday for the Willow Creek Salvage and Fuels Reduction Project located on National Forest System lands north of Hot Sulphur Springs and northwest of Granby in response to the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

Although, multiple decisions will be issued this first decision will implement the following activities and treatments:

– Harvest an estimated 2,319 acres to salvage beetle-killed trees.

– Treat hazardous fuels on an estimated 109 acres.

∞ Transportation management actions include decommissioning, re-routing, and changing designated uses, and will affect 113.7 miles of routes (roads, trails, and ways) within the analysis area. The miles of transportation routes open to the public will change from 145.6 to 135.1 miles following implementation.

The purpose of the Willow Creek project is to remove dead and dying lodgepole pine and hazardous fuel accumulations as part of the ongoing effort to respond to the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) epidemic on the Sulphur Ranger District. Vegetation management activities include commercial timber harvesting, non-mechanical fuels reduction treatments, and use of prescribed and natural fire. Travel management actions, designed to preserve or enhance resources while maintaining recreation and management access, are also part of this project.

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The decision concludes the analysis, which started in 2007 and balanced many considerations, including reducing hazardous fuel accumulations, providing for public and firefighter safety in the event of a wildfire, maintaining healthy watersheds and effective wildlife habitat, and providing for public and administrative access.

To see the decision or the analysis documents, please check online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/arnf/projects/eaprojects/srd/willowcreek/index.shtml or call Jeff Underhill at 887-4142 for more information.

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