Forest Service to begin Ophir Mountain forest thinning project | SummitDaily.com

Forest Service to begin Ophir Mountain forest thinning project

A photo of machinery on a hillside conducting logging operations in the North Ophir area in years past. The Ophir Mountain forest thinning project will be taking place through summer into fall.
Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service has announced timber removal contractor West Range Forest Products will begin working on the Ophir Mountain forest health and fuels project after completing the harvest of 88 acres near Tenderfoot Mountain.

The thinning project will take place on national forest land between Frisco and Breckenridge on the Dillon Ranger District in Summit County.

Dillon district ranger Bill Jackson said in a news release that the project is meant to proactively mitigate wildfire risk by connecting areas of defensible space.

Operations at Ophir Mountain are expected to continue throughout summer and into fall. The contractor will cut and haul trees from national forest land via Gateway Drive. The public should expect log truck and chip van traffic entering Colorado Highway 9 from Gateway Drive at Gold Hill.

The Dillon Ranger District does not anticipate the need for long-term road or trail closures as a result of this work; however, the public is urged to use caution in the vicinity of the project. For public safety, temporary trail closures may be implemented while machinery is operating near or on trails in the project area.

Since the Forest Service started doing mitigation work in 2004, 12,875 acres on the Dillon Ranger District have been harvested or are under contract to be harvested. The Forest Service has spent $19 million on these forest health management efforts, and partner Denver Water has spent about $3.75 million to reduce fuel loading and improve forest health in the Lake Dillon watershed.

For more information, go to Fs.usda.gov/whiteriver or call the Dillon Ranger District office at 970-468-5400.


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