Sulphur Ranger District to remove hazard trees – Grand County, Colorado |

Sulphur Ranger District to remove hazard trees – Grand County, Colorado

The U.S. Forest Service awarded a contract to Summitt Forests, Inc. of Ashland, Ore. to remove hazard trees from three developed recreation sites in the Arapaho National Recreation Area.

“Work should begin very soon in October,” said Jim Gerleman, Timber Management Assistant for the Sulphur Ranger District. “We are attempting to remove as many hazard trees as possible this fall to reduce the workload next spring.”

The sites under contract are Point Park on the edge of Grand Lake and Stillwater and Arapaho Bay Campgrounds, both on Lake Granby. All dead, dying, and mature lodgepole pine trees susceptible to mountain pine beetle infestation or to being blown over in the wind will be removed. Areas will resemble clearcuts but the work is necessary. “Public safety is our top priority and we need to reduce the hazard before re-opening the sites for public use,” said Brad Orr, Recreation Program Manager for the Ranger District. The public will be asked to avoid these sites during tree removal operations and signs will be placed at the entrances alerting visitors.

In addition to the contract, fire and recreation crews have already begun to cut trees in other campgrounds and picnic grounds that have been closed for the season.

In some cases, only the dead and dying trees are being removed.

In other cases, all the trees need to be removed. The ranger district has begun planting new trees to replace the ones being removed. Last year, volunteers planted trees in St. Louis Creek Campground. This September, 3,000 lodgepole pine seedlings were planted by volunteers in Green Ridge Campground during National Public Lands Day. There will be more opportunities for the public to volunteer to plant trees in the future. But, for now, the focus is on removing the hazards.

Latest updates for the Sulphur Ranger District’s battle with the Bark Beetle:

Projects in the Grand Lake Area:

Stillwater Pass Road Repair Project: Work has started to repair a section of the Stillwater Pass Road in the Trail Mountain Area. Workers have agreed to allow as much traffic flow through the area as possible. However, delays should be expected and alternate routes from Highway 34 to Highway 125 are advised.

Campground Hazard Tree Reduction Project: The district continues to work very hard to remove hazardous trees in campgrounds and other developed areas. Many areas have already been cleared at this point. Campgrounds and picnic areas continue to look considerably more open. Work is being done this fall so that the campgrounds can be opened on time in the spring.

Arapaho National Recreation Area Vegetation Management Project: Logging is almost completed in the ANRA and Stillwater areas. Work is still being done along the Kawuneeche Road and also along County Road 66, the Green Ridge Road. The public also needs to be cautious of logging debris and other downed trees on all of the District’s trails.

Projects in the Fraser and Winter Park Area:

Winter Park Fuels Reduction Projects:

Several fuels reduction projects are underway near the National Forest Boundary with private land. The goal of these projects is to help protect the local communities from any potential wildfires.

Arrow: Tree cutting and hauling has begun on the U.S. Forest Service land adjacent to the Moffat Road. Logging is also occurring in the adjacent areas of private land. The public needs to be extremely cautious on the Moffat Road due to heavy truck traffic.

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