Campground closures over the summer
Vail CO, Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Safety of our visitors is always the number one concern of the White River National Forest. One of the effects of the current mountain pine beetle infestation is the danger of beetle-killed trees falling in campgrounds.
Out of the 57 campgrounds on the White River National Forest, six campgrounds may have delayed openings this summer and three campgrounds may be closed all summer.
Delayed openings on the Dillon Ranger District include Peak One, Pine Cove and Windy Point Group site. Also included are Gold Park, Campground on the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District and Chapman and Chapman Group Campgrounds on the Aspen and Sopris Ranger Districts.
Delayed opening is also likely at Sapphire Point on the Dillon Ranger District. Prospector, Lowry and Blue River campgrounds on the Dillon Ranger District will not be able to open this year, due to the vast extent of the beetle infestation, and a limited number of contractors and Forest Service resources available.
“We are very concerned with the public’s safety when it comes to the danger posed by these dead trees, especially to those visitors staying in our campgrounds. But I also want people to know that we are doing everything we can to mitigate the problem and get our campgrounds open as soon as possible,” said Cal Wettstein, Acting Forest Supervisor. He emphasized that work is already underway while snow is still on the ground and that several options for getting the trees cut and removed, including using experienced prison fire crews, are being explored.
Tree removal is currently underway in Peak One and Pine Cove Campgrounds. Prospector, Lowry and Windy Point Campgrounds on the Dillon Ranger District are part of the Keystone Stewardship contract, scheduled to be awarded in the next few months. Tree removal in the Blue River Campground, north of Silverthorne, is also scheduled to be contracted soon.
A number of forest campgrounds have already had hazard trees removed, the most prominent of which is Heaton Bay in the Dillon area. It is expected to be open by summer. However, the forest’s recreation program manager Rich Doak reminds the public that the beetle problem will likely continue to spread and for visitors to be careful when recreating in areas where trees have been killed.
Be aware of your surroundings and wind conditions. The infestation will likely require future treatments at additional popular recreation areas. For more information about where to camp, call 970-468-5400.
For general information about the bark beetle go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/bark-beetle. r Districts.
Delayed opening is also likely at Sapphire Point on the Dillon Ranger District.
Prospector, Lowry and Blue River campgrounds on the Dillon Ranger District will not be able to open this year, due to the vast extent of the beetle infestation, and a limited number of contractors and Forest Service resources available.
See the attached press release for details;
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A Nov. 30 to Governor Polis and the Eagle County Commissioners from Beaver Creek Resorts Company – as well as the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Minturn – requests a variance program which would allow businesses to remain open.