Helicopter work to close Smuggler Mtn. near Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Helicopter work to close Smuggler Mtn. near Aspen

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

Courtesy city of Aspen

ASPEN – Smuggler Mountain Road and various trails on the mountain flanking Aspen will be closed Thursday while a helicopter hauls trees that will be felled to slow the advance of the mountain pine beetle.

Initially, the city announced the closure would occur on either Monday or Tuesday. Instead, the roads and trails, including the Hunter Creek Cutoff, will be closed from about 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

This summer brings a second year of logging work on about 120 acres of open space on Smuggler Mountain, owned by Aspen and Pitkin County, to preserve lodgepole pine stands on the property.

Roughly 52 trees infested with beetle larvae, or so-called brood trees, will be removed, along with some dead trees that pose a hazard. A helicopter will be used to collect the felled trees and haul them to a central site.