Laura Rossetter: Speak up on Thursday forest health project near Frisco |

Laura Rossetter: Speak up on Thursday forest health project near Frisco

Laura Rossetter

Frisco residents and all users of National Forest lands just south of Frisco need to be aware that the Forest Service is proposing a large timber cutting project (to address forest health) on 1,700 acres around Rainbow Lake, on Ophir Mountain and near sections of Miner’s Creek Road and the Peaks and Gold Hill/Colorado Trails.

This project could begin next summer and continue for several years. There will be short- and long-term impacts to many backcountry roads and trails. Sections of Miner’s Creek Road and the dirt road shortcutting between the hospital and the high school, as well as old roads near Gold Hill trail, will be improved for logging truck use. The bike path access west of the County Commons will be used by logging trucks to access Miner’s Creek Road.

Most activity will consist of clear-cutting to remove trees impacted by, or susceptible to pine beetle (most of the trees) while attempting to preserve healthy trees (a small minority).

This project, while bringing needed forest management to an area full of dead trees, will have significant temporary and permanent impacts, both visually and recreationally and also to the ecosystem. The current proposal can be modified. It is critical that everyone living near and using this area give your concerns and suggestions. Your knowledge and input is invaluable for developing a project that improves forest health while having minimal negative impacts. The Forest Service is hosting an open house to review the project, answer questions and get public input from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Senior Center in Frisco. Or, call Peech Keller at (970) 262-3495 or Brett Crary at (970) 827-5182 for details and directions on sending comments (due by Nov. 1).

The Forest Service wants our input; we need to give it!