A timber removal contractor has begun work implementing the Ophir Mountain forest health and fuels project on National Forest System lands between the towns of Frisco and Breckenridge located on the Dillon Ranger District in Summit County.
In 2011, the project was analyzed and a decision was issued, as part of the White River National Forest’s ten-year Long-term Stewardship Contract—a proactive effort to create fuel breaks and reduce the accumulation of heavy fuel loads adjacent to communities within the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic across the White River National Forest.
“The Ophir Mountain forest health and fuels project is a proactive effort to continue to connect areas of defensible space around the communities of Summit County,” stated Bill Jackson, Dillon District Ranger. “At the same time, tree removal will make way for new growth, cultivate more diversity of tree species and age classes within the ecosystem – creating a more resilient forest to future disturbances such as insects and wildfire.”
Operations are expected to continue throughout the summer and into the fall. The contractor will cut and haul trees from National Forest System lands via Gateway Drive. The public can expect log truck and/or chip van traffic entering Colorado Highway 9 from Gateway Drive at Gold Hill.
At this time, the Dillon Ranger District does not anticipate a need for long-term road or trail closures as a result of this work; however, the public is urged to use caution if in the vicinity of the project. For public safety, temporary trail closures may be enacted while machinery is operating near or on trails in the project area- Ophir Area Forest Health and Fuels Project Map.
Please check the White River National Forest website for updated information. If you have any questions, please contact the Dillon Ranger District office at 970-468-5400.