Forest Service seeks objections to gravel pit expansion


By Casey Crow

Staff Writer

The U.S. Forest Service is accepting objections to a proposed project concerning the use and expansion of two gravel pits located  northwest of Pagosa Springs in the Upper Piedra area.

The Pagosa Ranger District is proposing to re-enter the Gordon Creek and Chub Draw gravel pits to provide a local supply of aggregate material (gravel) in order to rehabilitate road surfaces, campgrounds, picnic areas and trailheads on the Pagosa District of the San Juan National Forest (SJNF). It is also designed to provide and store additional material for road maintenance and emergency repairs, according to the project outline.

The report states, “This proposed project is needed to help reduce road surface distress, water caused erosion, cut and fill failures, downslope creep, wash boarding, potholes, soft soils, and dust.”

Kevin Khung, district ranger, has prepared an environmental assessment on the project, which states the gravel pit re-entry is of no significant impact.

Khung intends to select Alternative 3, the proposed action, to authorize re-entry into the existing Gordon Creek and Chub Draw gravel pits and the expansion of the Chub Draw gravel pit by approximately four acres. The proposal states that the material available by the expansion would be enough for 25-120 miles of road improvements and would provide material for up to 10 years.

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