Frisco, Colorado, moving slowly to replant after pine beetles killed trees |

Frisco, Colorado, moving slowly to replant after pine beetles killed trees

Caitlin Row
Vail, CO, Colorado

FRISCO – First the pine beetles came and infected Frisco’s lodgepole pines. Then the town removed the dead trees. Now staff and council are hoping to move forward on a reforestation project to fix issues caused by widespread tree removal.

Town manager Michael Penny said the main problems caused by tree removal are sound and wind issues, as well as aesthetics. Reforestation plans were initially created for the peninsula area, but now they’ve been expanded to the whole town.

“It’s a slow, meticulous process,” said Penny, who noted that Frisco is nonetheless making some headway.

The reforestation master plan will be long-term in nature as it’s a bit difficult to implement, Penny added. This is because many locations where staff would like to replant are owned by other entities – the state, the federal government, the county or privately -and not the town.

Working with CDOT

Town officials are also moving forward with a plan that could help with wind and sound issues coming from Interstate 70 – an intergovernmental agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) regarding “storage of material.”

At Tuesday’s town work session, Penny presented the option to work with CDOT with its sand/dirt storage. The governmental entity spreads sand over the roadways in the wintertime and then collects it in spring to store it. They haven’t come to any set agreement yet, but Penny said CDOT seems amenable.

“The idea is to have intentional sand storage in the area,” Penny said. “It addresses CDOT’s need for storage and than we get the residual benefit of sound and wind mitigation. … They are not building a sound wall.”

The agreement is helpful to the town because the storage could help block noise and wind along the roadway, Penny said. The main focus for storage placement would be between exits 201 and 203 (in between the two Frisco exits). Penny also noted that this would be a 5- to 10-year project.

Frisco is currently surveying the area to gauge if the agreement is possible.

If the intergovernmental agreement moves ahead, the town may explore putting trees and shrubs on the “stored material” in the future. Another long-term plan for the town includes revegetating the entry to Main Street.

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