Logging project begins near Silverthorne and Sierra Bosque to reduce wildfire fuels | SummitDaily.com

Logging project begins near Silverthorne and Sierra Bosque to reduce wildfire fuels

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 U.S. Forest Service

SILVERTHORNE — West Range Forest Products is beginning work on the Harrigan timber removal contract, one of four projects on national forest land north of Silverthorne and above the community of Sierra Bosque. In total, the projects will remove 821 acres of timber to create defensible space and reduce wildfire danger in the area, according to a news release.

The clear-cutting will allow the growth of new species, diversifying the ecosystem, according to the Dillon District Ranger.

“This creates a forest that is more resilient to future disturbances from insects, disease and wildfire,” Dillon district ranger Bill Jackson said in the release.

The same contractor removed 350 acres of trees from Ophir Mountain in 2018 and 88 acres from Tenderfoot Mountain this year. A majority of the timber is sent to the Gypsum Biomass Power Plant, according to the release.

Another tree removal project will take place this summer in Keystone Gulch, where 349 acres will be cut and burned.

Since 2004, 12,875 acres of forest have been cut or are scheduled to be cut to reduce fuel loading and improve forest health. The cost of those U.S. Forest Service projects totals $19 million, according to the release.

For more information, call the Dillon Ranger District office at 970-468-5400.

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