News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: July 26, 2021

Settler’s Creek Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Forest Health Project to Begin August 2

settlersbefore

A Summit County Open Space and Trails saw crew will be felling and piling dead and diseased trees for three weeks in East Keystone

Contact: Jordan Mead, Resource Specialist, Summit County Open Space and Trails Department 

SUMMIT COUNTY – Starting August 2, the Summit County Open Space and Trails Department, with partners from the Colorado State Forest Service and the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, will begin the first phase of a hazardous fuels reduction and forest health treatment at Settler’s Creek Open Space. Work will last for three weeks and include chainsaw felling and piling of dead and diseased lodgepole pine. 

“This site was selected based on the large quantity of standing dead, beetle-killed pine and the abundance of parasitic dwarf-mistletoe, along with the proximity to homes and critical infrastructure including the Xcel Energy transmission line,” said Jordan Mead, Resource Specialist.

The treatment aims to eliminate the dead and mistletoe-infested lodgepole pines, which are susceptible to drought, fire, and other diseases. Settler’s Creek has an abundance of aspen regeneration in the understory, along with healthy spruce, pine, and fir saplings. “By removing diseased lodgepole pine, we will open up space for healthy seedlings and saplings to grow into the canopy,” said Mead. 

Aspen stands retain higher moisture levels than pine stands and serve as a fuel break under certain conditions. Promoting aspen will also increase natural cover and forage for wildlife, which use the nearby Jones Gulch as a movement corridor. 

Neighbors in the Settler’s Creek, Alders, Trapper’s Crossing, and Ski Tip subdivisions should expect to hear chainsaws running on weekdays through the duration of the project. Trails and access routes will be closed for short periods, not to exceed 30 minutes at a time, to fell trees near these routes and clear the downed trees. Anyone travelling through the project area should use an abundance of caution and obey all posted signage.

The second phase of the project will include one to two pile burn days in the winter of 2022. Burning will occur with at least six inches of snow on the ground and a forecast that will ensure adequate smoke ventilation and rapid pile consumption. 

This project is funded by a Great Outdoors Colorado Conservation Youth Corps Grant along with the Summit County Strong Futures Fund, which dedicates one million dollars annually for wildfire mitigation strategies. For more information, please visit: https://www.summitcountyco.gov/1443/32003/Settlers-Creek-Hazardous-Fuels-Reduction.

Thank you for your support of Summit County’s ongoing commitment to community safety, hazardous fuels reduction, and forest health management.

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