Railway logging project nears completion
Winter Park, CO Colorado
WINTER PARK – As the logging project along the Union Pacific right of way nears completion, town council has approved additional funds to remove trees along the U.S. Forest Service ski-area boundary rather than using a lop-and-scatter technique.
The $27,000 additional expenditure, approved July 20, was made possible by securing additional access to the south/west side of the railway at the Timberhouse Road crossing. Old forest service access roads and trails will allow the trees to be cut and removed. The slash will be piled for future burning.
This additional work will remove approximately 3,100 trees from the Timberhouse crossing to Beaver Meadows.. The additional cost still fits within the town’s original budget for the project, which was paid for by a grant from the Colorado State Forest Service with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
Meanwhile, the logging project has drawn the ire of some neighbors who say they weren’t properly informed of the logging plans. Ron and Marla Fossett wrote in a letter to town council and the newspaper that the High Seasons condominium complex has been spraying trees along the right of way for the past 12 years at a total cost of about $30,000. The Fossetts also claimed that trees in the outer 50-foot buffer were not flagged first by town staff and were cut regardless of their condition.
They asked town manager Drew Nelson what the plans were for replanting the railway zone. Nelson replied that the plan is to let natural revegetation prevail, which has been successful in other areas of town.
Nelson stated in his reply that most of the pine trees along that particular section of the rail were at the end of their lifespan. Large stands of healthy trees elsewhere, especially aspens, were left standing.
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