Forest thinning under way in so. Colorado |

Forest thinning under way in so. Colorado

DEL NORTE ” Forest Service contractors have begun thinning stands of ponderosa pine in a 200-acre tract of the Rio Grande National Forest to reduce fire danger and improve big-game habitat.

The $100,000 project is about 15 miles northwest of Del Norte and 150 miles southwest of Denver.

Bruce Short, a biological resource staff officer and tree specialist for the Rio Grande, said a heavy undergrowth of small trees is preventing side light from reaching the forest floor where it would encourage the growth of shrubs and grass.

In the late spring or fall of 2008, the Forest Service plans a controlled burn in the treated area to eliminate undergrowth that allows flames to climb up tree trunks.

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