Officials agree on tree-cutting plan for Aspen-Snowmass ski areas | AspenTimes.com

Officials agree on tree-cutting plan for Aspen-Snowmass ski areas

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – The Aspen Skiing Co. and U.S. Forest Service have agreed on a tree-thinning plan to improve the forest health in the four local ski areas over a five- to 10-year period.

The Forest Service announced Monday that a plan has been approved that will allow treatment on 2,694 acres at Snowmass; 845 acres at Aspen Highlands; 403 acres at Buttermilk; and 185 acres at Aspen Mountain.

Proposed treatments include: a combination of tree cutting or removal to remove dead or infested trees, stimulate regeneration or reduce the threat of wind throw; planting seedlings; or applying insecticides to individual high value trees, according to a statement from the Forest Service.

“Forest health conditions are deteriorating regionally due to a combination of factors such as mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle infestations, sudden aspen decline, mistletoe and past drought,” said Aspen District Ranger Scott Snelson. “Without intervention, stand resilience and overall forest health is likely to continue deteriorating. The scenic integrity of the upper Roaring Fork Valley will also decline.”

Additional information is available by contacting Skye Sieber of the Forest Service at (970) 625-6864. The Forest Service is accepting written comments on the plan until Nov. 15. Each comment should include the name of the individual making the comment, address, telephone number, organization (if applicable), and specific facts and supporting reasons behind the comment. Written comments should be addressed to: Aspen Skico Forest Health Project c/o Skye Sieber, Project Leader; 0094 County Road 244; Rifle, CO 81650 or they can be e-mailed to: wrnf_scoping_comments@fs.fed.us.

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