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New year’s projects in the San Juan National Forest

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Ranger District is continuing to work on various projects in the San Juan National Forest as the new year kicks off.

Pagosa District Ranger Kevin Khung, in an e-mail to SUN staff, stated, “Our focus on the Pagosa Ranger District for this year will be in implementation and base workload.”

He continued, “For example: Implementation: Pagosa Long Term Stewardship Contract (awarded last summer). Preparing task orders for the contract, prepping treatment areas (preparing treatment prescriptions, cruising and marking trees, assembling contract documents) and contract administration of the awarded areas.”

In regard to basework load, Khung added that work will continue in the following areas: trail maintenance; opening, routine maintenance and crisis management at developed recreation sites; visitor contacts; range permit administration (potential drought management); recreation and lands permit administration; initial response to fire activity; and road openings and maintenance.

Khung also stated that the one new project for 2013 will be the development of a management plan for Chimney Rock National Monument. Currently, the Pagosa Ranger District is working on a timeline for the management plan.

Other projects listed on the San Juan National Forest’s Schedule of Proposed Actions are:

• EAGLE-Net fiber optic line. New special use authorization for the installation, operation and maintenance of a fiber optic cable on National Forest System lands along the highway right-of-ways between Wolf Creek Pass and Cascade Village, then along the TriState power line to Silverton. The proposal for this project is in the process of being completed. The Notice of Initiation is expected this month.

• Piedra Road Re-Route. Scoping process started in April of last year. Action is expected to take place in February. The project will reroute 4/10 of a mile of Piedra Road approximately one mile north of where McManus Road intersects with Piedra Road, between mile markers 13.9 and 14.3.

• La Plata Electric Association Blanco Basin Reconductoring Project. This project is currently under analysis. This is an application to replace conductors on the existing aerial power line on approximately three miles of Forest Service land along the Blanco Basin Road.

• Forest Plan Revision. Currently in progress. A decision is expected to be made by May, and the plan will begin to be implemented in September. This will revise the Land and Resource Management Plan for the San Juan National Forest.

lindsey@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on January 10, 2013.