Logging operations resume on Hardscrabble Mountain￼
Work improves forest health, reduces wildfire risk and provides forest products
Winter logging operations are underway on Hardscrabble Mountain south of Eagle along National Forest System Roads 413 and 451.
The Hardscrabble Road system will be plowed again this winter to allow large truck access. Between five and 15 large trucks a day will be traveling down the road from the treatment area to Brush Creek Road Monday through Friday. The work is expected to continue through March.
The logging is being completed to improve overall forest health, provide forest products to local industries, and help reduce the risk and impacts from wildfires.
“Most of this area is covered in continuous stands of even-aged trees, which are less resilient to disease and more susceptible to crown fires,” said Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis. “Creating openings in the continuous stands creates diversity of tree ages and sizes. It also lessens the intensity of wildfires and gives firefighters a place to more effectively and safely engage a wildfire.”
Aspen and lodgepole pine are fire-adapted species that regenerate in the open, sunny areas that follow a fire or other disturbance such as logging. Clear-cutting patches of aspen and lodgepole is an effective way to stimulate their regeneration.
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The trees are chipped on-site and trucked to the biomass plant in Gypsum.
About 176 acres are expected to be cut this winter, which will complete this contract. Over the last several winters, contractors have cut 586 acres in this area.
The current logging work at Hardscrabble was approved under the 2017 Hardscrabble Project environmental assessment, which can be found at FS.USDA.gov/project/?project=41673.