Forest – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 14 Nov 2019 17:34:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Pagosa Ranger District seeks comments on proposed forest project http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-ranger-district-seeks-comments-on-proposed-forest-project/ Fri, 15 Nov 2019 12:00:09 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=191204 By Lorena Williams
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Ranger District is seeking public comments to gather input during the early phases of planning to harvest dead and declining spruce, aspen and mixed-conifer trees in the Upper Rito and Buckles areas.
The Upper Rito project area is located about 9 miles east of Pagosa Springs and will be accessed by Forest Service Road (FSR) No. 735, Aspen Spur Road; FSR No. 665, Nipple Mountain Road; and FSR No. 024, Porcupine Road. The Buckles project area is located about 15 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs and will be accessed by FSR No. 663, Buckles Lake Road.
The initial proposal is to apply harvest approaches including coppice harvesting with reserves, improvement cutting, and salvage and sanitation harvests on up to 2,080 acres in the Upper Rito area and 485 acres in the Buckles area.
Many spruce stands within the project landscape have experienced high levels of spruce bark beetle mortality in large-diameter spruce trees. Also active within the project area are the fir engraver and Douglas fir bark beetles. Impacts from these bark beetles on white fir and Douglas fir are currently limited, but dense forest conditions and repeated defoliation by western spruce budworm over the past decade predispose these trees to future bark beetle attack.
In addition to these concerns, within the project landscape the proportions of young aspen forest relative to mature aspen and conifer forest is below desired levels identified in the 2013 San Juan National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). Proposed treatments will move forest age and composition toward plan goals and are focused within areas that have been identified as suitable for commercial timber harvest under the 2013 San Juan National Forest LRMP.
The proposal also includes fisheries habitat improvements that will benefit San Juan lineage cutthroat trout along approximately 2 miles of Rito Blanco Creek and decommissioning a small segment of FST No. 817, Blue Creek ATV trail, to prevent resource damages. ATV users may continue to access the area by using Blue Creek Road.
Comments must be postmarked by Dec. 9 to be considered. Comments received will be used to identify issues and develop alternatives. Submit comments to: San Juan National Forest, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs CO 81147, Attn: Matt Tuten.
Contact Tuten at 264-2268 or by email at matthew.tuten@usda.gov for more information.

]]>
Kimple awarded CSFS Partner of the Year http://www.pagosasun.com/kimple-awarded-csfs-partner-of-the-year/ Sun, 10 Nov 2019 12:00:34 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190680

Aaron Kimple

By Teddy Parker-Renga
Special to The SUN
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) has recognized Aaron Kimple with its Partner of the Year award for 2019.
Kimple is the Forest Health Program director and San Juan Headwaters Program coordinator for the Mountain Studies Institute (MSI), based in Silverton, Colo., and the coordinator of the Two Watersheds-Three Rivers-Two States (2-3-2) Collaborative. He also serves on the Colorado Forest Health Advisory Committee.
The CSFS recognized Kimple as its Partner of the Year for his exceptional assistance in fostering healthy forests in Colorado through communications, outreach and support of the CSFS’s goals, strategic priorities and mission. His work with MSI contributes to stewardship of diverse forest environments in the state, and his service on the Forest Health Advisory Committee advises the CSFS and its many partners on managing Colorado’s forests for present and future generations.
“Aaron is a forest facilitator. He convenes partners together to move joint projects forward,” said Mark Loveall, supervisory forester for the CSFS based in Durango. “He is an excellent organizer and leader of meetings to ensure all parties get something out of them.”
For example, Kimple helped to bring awareness of forest health to the San Luis Valley by organizing two Bridging the Divide education events at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
The award was presented at the CSFS’s annual meeting last month in Estes Park.
“This award reflects the quality of the partners I get to interact with every day,” mentioned Kimple upon receiving the award, “and demonstrates the great culture of partnering that has been cultivated in southwest Colorado. We should celebrate the people that commit to participating in collaborative efforts, offering time and energy to support our communities. Without them this would be a lonely business.”
For more information about Kimple’s work with the CSFS, please contact Loveall at 247-5250 or Mark.Loveall@colostate.edu.

]]>
Pagosa Ranger District clears 85 percent of summer trails http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-ranger-district-clears-85-percent-of-summer-trails/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 12:00:13 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190243

Photo courtesy Bob Milford
Dr. Rob Lambert presents Pagosa Area Trails Council (PATC) President Bob Milford with a check for $10,000. The San Juan Outdoor Club is making the donation to PATC’s “Clear the Trails Campaign,” which will be used as a cash match for grants that could help the effort to clear downed trees from Pagosa area trails.

By Paul Blackman
Special to The SUN
With the help from numerous partners, volunteers, permittees and other community members, the Pagosa Ranger District managed to clear 85 percent of its summer trails during the 2019 season.
This amounts to over 400 miles of trail cleared of beetle-killed spruce trees, avalanche fields, rockslides and other downfall.
This banner year for trail work — complicated by a heavy snow load and late melt-off in the high country — could not have happened without the dedication and contributions from so many individuals and groups, both within and outside the Forest Service.
Faced with an increasingly daunting task of trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up with the extent of downfall on its trails, the district welcomed the assistance offered by partners and groups in coming up with additional resources to address the overwhelming situation. While the Pagosa District has received help from external sources in performing trail maintenance for many years, by the end of the 2018 season it became apparent that ground was (literally) being lost in the effort to keep its system trails open. A new or modified approach to the problem was clearly called for.
Starting in earnest in December of 2018, district personnel began to revisit trail data, conduct extensive analyses to gain potential work efficiencies and to hold regular meetings with core community members dedicated to addressing the problem. A detailed strategy was ultimately developed for the 2019 season and beyond, which aimed to have all Pagosa District trails opened within three years: an ambitious goal, given that at the time roughly only 50 percent of district trails were free from obstructions and conditions appeared to be worsening.
By spring of 2019, the initial planning and analysis efforts documenting the extremely difficult field conditions appeared to be paying off, as additional funding for trail work was provided to the district in the form of grants, awards, increased forest and regional-level allocations for crews and other types of support.
Crews were eager to begin the heavy lifting in May, only to be delayed several weeks due to heavy snowpack. Reconnaissance flights and early trail scouting indicated numerous extensive avalanches that would further compound the undertaking. Concerns were mounting that, despite the additional resources and strategic planning, actual progress on the ground could be considerably curtailed.
With the majority of crews now having left for the season, field data collected during the summer has revealed accomplishments above and beyond some of the rosiest predictions made during the spring. All told, 6,300 trees were cleared from trails (3,300 by cross-cut saw), 406 miles of trail were opened, more than 3,050 hours of volunteer and partner labor were logged, and only 15 percent of the district’s trails are currently obstructed by downfall.
Next year will again present significant challenges, as beetle-killed trees will continue to fall on trails for years to come. But, additional financial and other resources are being lined up for the future — including a new partnership with Wolf Creek Ski Area and the National Forest Foundation wherein a portion of season ticket proceeds will be donated to fund youth trail crews.
The district is optimistic that with continuing support and ongoing refinements to its program of work for trails, it can reach the goal of clearing all summer trails in the next two years and keeping them open for years to come.

]]>
Pagosa Ranger District and Rio Grande National Forest plan to burn slash piles http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-ranger-district-and-rio-grande-national-forest-plan-to-burn-slash-piles/ Thu, 31 Oct 2019 21:00:38 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190223 Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Ranger District is planning to burn slash piles in the following locations: Turkey Springs (Forest Service Road No. 629), Cabezon Canyon (Forest Service land adjacent to Archuleta County Road 917) and Colo. 151 area north of Southern Ute land.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

]]>
Local nonprofits help ranger district clear area trails http://www.pagosasun.com/local-nonprofits-help-ranger-district-clear-area-trails/ Thu, 31 Oct 2019 21:00:10 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190246 The Pagosa Area Trails Council (PATC), in partnership with other organizations, helped the Pagosa Ranger District clear 85 percent of its summer trails during the 2019 season.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

]]>
Local classes offered for hunter safety card http://www.pagosasun.com/local-classes-offered-for-hunter-safety-card/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179626 By Donald D. Volger
Special to The SUN
Hunter education classes will be offered two more times this season in Pagosa Springs, on Oct. 17 and 18 (before the start of the second rifle season on Oct. 19), and a final class on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (prior to the start of the third rifle season on Nov. 2).
Sessions will take place 5:30-10 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. Students must attend each session.
Classes will be held at the San Juan Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St.
Please contact Don Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com for updated location information.
The cost is $10 for the class. These courses will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. Students should register online prior to the class. To register, go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website, click on “Learn” then click on “Classes — Traditional” under the Hunter Education heading and follow the instructions.
If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.
All programs, services and activities of CPW are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com. To assure that CPW can meet special needs, please notify Volger at least seven days before the class.

]]>
Hunter safety card required for purchasing hunting license: Local classes offered http://www.pagosasun.com/hunter-safety-card-required-for-purchasing-hunting-license-local-classes-offered-3/ Wed, 09 Oct 2019 11:00:24 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179172 By Donald D. Volger
Special to The SUN
Hunter education classes will be offered two more times this season in Pagosa Springs, on Oct. 17 and 18 (before the start of the second rifle season on Oct. 19), and a final class on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (prior to the start of the third rifle season on Nov. 2).
Sessions will take place 5:30-10 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. Students must attend each session.
Classes will be held at the San Juan Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St.
Please contact Don Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com for updated location information.
The cost is $10 for the class. These courses will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. Students should register online prior to the class. To register, go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website, click on “Learn” then click on “Classes — Traditional” under the Hunter Education heading and follow the instructions.

]]>
Hunter safety card required for purchasing hunting license: Local classes offered http://www.pagosasun.com/hunter-safety-card-required-for-purchasing-hunting-license-local-classes-offered-2/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 11:00:21 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178660 By Donald D. Volger
Special to The SUN
Hunter education classes will be offered two more times this season in Pagosa Springs, on Oct. 17 and 18 (before the start of the second rifle season on Oct. 19), and a final class on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (prior to the start of the third rifle season on Nov. 2).
Sessions will take place 5:30-10 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. Students must attend each session.
Classes will be held at the San Juan Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St.
Please contact Don Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com for updated location information.
The cost is $10 for the class. These courses will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. Students should register online prior to the class. To register, go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website, click on “Learn” then click on “Classes — Traditional” under the Hunter Education heading and follow the instructions.
If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.
All programs, services and activities of CPW are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com. To assure that CPW can meet special needs, please notify Volger at least seven days before the class.
These courses are sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with CPW with support from the local chapter of the Friends of the NRA.

]]>
Ranger district seeking public input on proposed relocation of snowmobile trailhead parking area http://www.pagosasun.com/ranger-district-seeking-public-input-on-proposed-relocation-of-snowmobile-trailhead-parking-area/ Thu, 26 Sep 2019 21:00:22 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178656 Public comment is welcome for those who have an opinion on a proposal to move an existing snowmobile trailhead parking area on Mill Creek Road.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

]]>
Seidel family receives Tree Farmer of the Year Award for second time http://www.pagosasun.com/seidel-family-receives-tree-farmer-of-the-year-award-for-second-time/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 11:00:21 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178148

Photo courtesy Colorado State Forest Service
In August, the Seidel family was officially recognized by the Colorado State Forest Service as the Colorado Tree Farmer of the Year for the second time.

By Ryan Lockwood
Special to The SUN
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) has once again recognized a Pagosa Springs family as the state’s “Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.”
The annual award, which is bestowed for exceptional efforts toward growing renewable timber resources while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public awareness, was bestowed to the Seidel family in 1984 and again this year.
“It is rewarding to see subsequent generations maintain an attachment to their land and there have been three generations involved in the management of this property,” said Dan Wand, owner of Wand Forestry and retired CSFS Durango Field Office forester.
Second-generation Coloradoans, the Seidels have been managing their land since taking ownership in 1947. Their approximately 195 acres of ponderosa pine and meadowland, now managed by George and Sarah Seidel, represent a natural, healthy condition due to the family’s ongoing efforts as tree farmers.
The Seidels have been practicing sustainable forestry in collaboration with the CSFS since 1971. That year, they developed their first forest management plan and they have since thinned 10 to 30 acres of noncommercially valuable timber per year to improve the even-aged timber stand. Their property has been certified as an American Tree Farm since 1979.
On a Saturday in August, the Seidels were officially recognized by the CSFS as the Colorado Tree Farmer of the Year for the second time.
“This is an honor to be recognized, as my father was in 1984,” said Sarah Seidel.

]]>