Tree work to close Smuggler Mtn. near Aspen |

Tree work to close Smuggler Mtn. near Aspen

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Smuggler Mountain Road and various trails on the mountain flanking Aspen will be closed on either June 14 or 15, depending on the weather, while a helicopter hauls trees that will be felled to slow the advance of the mountain pine beetle.

This summer will see 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.

Work will occur June 10-16 to cut down roughly 52 trees infested with beetle larvae, or so-called brood trees. Some dead trees that pose a hazard will also be removed. The area will be closed while a helicopter collects the felled trees and hauls them to a central site on the open space. There, they will be stripped of branches before they’re hauled down the mountain.

An application of verbenone, a pheromone that fools adult beetles into leaving healthy trees alone, is also part of the project.

Pitkin County, the city of Aspen and local conservation group For the Forest are each expected to each pay a third of the $116,692 total bill – a sum that also includes public outreach and ongoing monitoring.

Anyone with questions about the work should call 920-5120.

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