Timber sales benefit locals
Aspen, firewood majority of sales
Several timber sales and forest-health projects are underway or completed in the Dolores Public Lands region.
Supervisory forester Mark Krabath gave a rundown of local timber activity, ranging from commercial sales and beetle mitigation to fuel-reduction programs and firewood-collection opportunities.
The Spring Creek aspen sale was recently sold to DeWayne Findley of Aspen Wallwood, and includes 8,865 hundred cubic feet on 344 acres north of the Transfer campground. Another pine sale was completed in the Joe Moore Lake area.
“In addition, we have sold two, 20-acre pine sales to local firewood contractors,” Krabath said.
Ongoing pine sales include a stand adjacent to the lower Chicken Creek ski trail and one off of the Ormiston Point Road.
Two fuel-reduction projects are also scheduled. The Spruce Water area at Haycamp Point will undergo mastication of small pine and oak on 135 acres. The contract was awarded to Rue Logging out of South Fork, Colo.
A 300-acre section of forest in the Lake Canyon area of the Glade has been ravaged by the round-headed pine beetle. An environmental assessment was completed in June on treatment options. Foresters plan to treat a 3,200-acre area of overstocked forest with thinning, stock-density reduction, hydro-axing, and sanitation of diseased trees in that region in an attempt to stop the destructive bug.
“It is typically seen in New Mexico and Arizona,” Krabath said. “This is the largest population seen north of that region. Climate change has expanded the beetle’s range to forests weakened by drought.”
The San Juan National Forest offers substantial firewood opportunities to the public.
Crews have been thinning small pine in the Grouse Point and Rock Springs area off of the Haycamp Road adjacent to Lost Canyon Ranch. Down pine from last year’s thinning was skid off of 134 acres in the Grouse point area by Doug Ragland of Stoner Top lumber.
Two hundred chords of pine are now available for firewood cutting and collection for permit holders. Additional firewood will be available from thinning at the McPhee Park area off of the Dolores-Norwood road. The forest service sells 3,000 cords of firewood per year from local forests, representing about one quarter of timber sales.
The San Juan National Forests hires veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan wars under a civilian employment program. An 8-person crew from Green Veterans will work all summer in the Haycamp area thinning forests for firewood collection. Dolores County contributed $16,000 from its Title II Secure Rural Schools Funds to help pay for a Green Veterans crew to thin forests to provide firewood for Dove Creek residents.
Maps for fire-wood collection areas and $20 permits for 2.5 cords are available at the Dolores Public Lands Office, City Market, Cox Conoco in Mancos, and Dolores Food Market.