Letter: Some clarification from ACES
Some clarification from ACES
As primary project proponent for the Hunter-Smuggler Cooperative Plan, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies would like to make some clarifications in response to Friday’s Aspen Times article (Hunter-Smuggler plan generates comment”).
As an environmental science center, ACES is committed to the ecological health of our forests, including creating more productive wildlife habitat along with a more resilient forest. At no point does the plan suggest “major clear cutting” in the project area. The small, scattered patch cuts recommended in the plan will increase tree species and age class diversity in the project area, providing benefits to wildlife and forest ecological processes. These treatments will retain valuable wildlife habitat elements such as cavity trees, snags, and large downed logs.
Creating more robust and productive habitat will also ease potential conflicts between wildlife and recreation. The recreational enhancements outlined in the plan are the result of a two-year collaborative planning process incorporating the input of a diverse group of stakeholders. ACES’ focus is on ecological restoration and forest health of Smuggler Mountain and the Hunter Creek Valley.
This approach to planning is hard work, and not every entity will agree with this Plan one hundred percent. But cooperative stewardship results in the best possible outcome for the land and the people who use it.
Chris Lane, CEO
Jamie Cundiff, Forest Programs director
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
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