Enderlin: U.S. Forest Service should avoid repeating Gold Hill clearcutting
January 30, 2014
Don’t repeat the Gold Hill hack job
The U.S. Forest Service is beginning their proposed fuels reduction/clear-cut operation in the IronSprings/Peaks Trail/Miners Creek Trail shortly. As a long-time resident of the Gold Hill area where this same process was conducted during the winter months of 2012-2013, I am sorry to see the clear cutting of another heavily used recreation area in Summit County. Summit County’s reputation is based on its beauty and recreation. At this time, the Colorado/Gold Hill Trail, a heavily used recreation trail, no longer fits that description. The remaining slash teepees and un-walkable forest floor make the many acres of clear-cut difficult for the hikers, bikers, cross country skiers to maneuver through. The few intermittent patches of 6-8-10 trees that were left standing blew down with the first wind gusts leaving the recreational users to remove them from the trail. Logging roads were left with large muddy ruts, equipment staging areas were swimming in diesel fuel during spring run-off.
Yes, this was an unhealthy forest with possible fire threat to Gold Hill residents, but so is the remaining debris. Was clear cutting the wisest choice? Is clear cutting in the Miners’Creek/Peaks Trail area the wisest choice? Forest Service: please consider a recreational corrider in this area so another of Summit County’s highly used trails doesn’t end up like the Gold Hill/ Colorado Trail area.
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