The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public input on the Lone Pine Vegetation Management Project.
The 62,000-acre proposed project area is located east of the Dolores River canyon and west of Forest Road 514.
The purpose of the proposed Lone Pine project is to promote forest health, reduce stand density in green forests, salvage dead and dying ponderosa pine attacked by bark beetles, reduce dwarf mistletoe infestation and encourage natural regeneration.
Treatments will thin green ponderosa pine forests, reduce the presence of dwarf mistletoe disease, salvage dead ponderosa pine and remove trees infested by beetles.
Actions would open up dense canopies in green forests to allow sunlight to reach the forest floor.
There are currently few pine seedlings regenerating and foresters are concerned that the project area lacks the “next generation” of tree seedlings to replace those killed by insects or disease.
Prescribed fire as a follow-up will help create a mosaic of areas with bare soil or scarce duff and release nutrients, creating ideal conditions for new tree seedlings.
Large numbers of standing dead pine trees would be removed to increase safety and reduce fuel loads. To implement this necessary vegetation management, a variety of timber sales, stewardship and biomass contacts would be used to treat between 1,000 to 6,000 acres annually.
The normal operating season for these activities would be April through December.
Prescriptions include salvage of dead trees, thinning and also individual or group tree selection. Other proposed actions include removing slash, use of temporary roads and tree planting.
A scoping package including maps and photos is located on the project webpage at https://bit.ly/2NkUtWm.
Comments received are part of the public record and are most helpful if received by Oct. 18.
Comments can be submitted via the electronic comment form on the webpage, or mailed to Dolores District, Attn: Lone Pine Project, 29211 Hwy. 184, Dolores, CO 81321, or faxed to (970) 882-6841.
For more information, call David Casey at 882-6830.