USFS hazard tree removal project moves onto new roads
June 22, 2012
GRANBY- The past decade’s mountain pine beetle killed an estimated 80 percent of mature lodgepole pine trees in Grand County, creating numerous hazards along Forest Service roads and trails as these trees begin to fall. In an effort to reduce these hazards and improve public safety, the U.S. Forest Service’s Sulphur Ranger District has hired a contractor to remove hazard trees along more than 100 miles of high-use, forest service roads in Grand County.
Due to nature of this work, segments of road being treated will be temporarily closed to the public and gated while work progresses. For safety reasons, adjacent trails and dispersed campsites are temporarily closed to all users (including those on foot, bike, ATV and horseback). Help the U.S. Forest Service complete this work efficiently and quickly by respecting closures and encouraging others to do the same. Heavy machinery is in use in these areas and trees are being felled and moved. Machine operators have a very limited field of vision and may not see people walking or biking nearby. These closures are for public safety.
To avoid disappointment, call the Sulphur Ranger District’s Visitor’s Information Hotline at 970-887-4100 before planning your trip or heading out to the trailhead. Or, sign up for updates by emailing SRDUpdates@fs.fed.us; stop by the Sulphur Ranger Station at 9 Ten Mile Drive in Granby; visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/arp; or follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/usfsarp.
Even with all this work, forest visitors should be extremely cautious when recreating in the Arapaho National Forest. Dead and live trees can fall without warning. Visitors should avoid patches of dead trees, especially on windy days. Also, make sure to park vehicles and place tents and RVs in areas away from dead trees and take a saw or ax with you to remove fallen trees from roads to avoid becoming trapped. Remember, your safety is your responsibility.
Winter Park Area
The removal of hazardous fuels along the National Forest boundary with private property on Little Vasquez Road (a.k.a. Arapahoe Road) is now complete as is roadside hazard tree removal work on that portion of road. By the end of this weekend (June 24), the following roads and trails are expected to reopen: Little Vasquez, Ice Hill, Chickadee and Twin Bridges east of Blue Sky.
Beginning June 20, the following roads and trails are temporarily closed: Vasquez Road (FSR 148), East D4 (from WTB) and D3. Work along Vasquez Road is expected to take several weeks. Blue Sky, WTB, Twin Bridges and Leland Creek Road will remain open.
Grand Lake Area
As of the end of the day June 21, roadside hazard tree removal work will be complete and the following roads and trails will re-open: Kawuneeche (FSR 120), South Supply (FSR 119), Blizzard Pass (M121), Bowen Gulch (N119), Bowen Gulch Connector (N119.1), Burn (M122), Lower Soda Pass (N128) and Middle Supply (M123) Weekday hauling will continue along these roads so please use caution, particularly on blind curves.
As of June 21, the following roads as well as adjacent trails and campsites will be temporarily closed: North Supply (FSR 120.4), Lower Stillwater (FSR 123) to the mid-slope (Gilsonite gate), North South Trail, Bull Mountain campsites, Spruce ‘Em Up Jack, Trail Creek Loop, Lower Gilsonite, N118 (non-motorized Gilsonite). Work along these roads is expected to continue over the next few weeks. Any access to the Stillwater Pass area must be via the west entrance and through traffic on 123 in not available. Work along lower Stillwater Road is expected to last for several weeks.