Fuels and habitat work to occur on Pole Mountain, area closure in place

Media Contact: Aaron Voos, (307)745-2323


News Release (PDF)

Area Closure Order (PDF)

Map (PDF)


(LARAMIE, Wyo.)  February 6, 2019 – Mastication work on the Pole Mountain unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest has prompted the implementation of a temporary area closure for public safety.


Work is expected to begin as early as Thursday, Feb. 7. The Laramie Ranger District has temporarily closed a portion of Forest Road 700 (Vedauwoo Glen Road) and the entire 700.K Road, as well as the area within 600 feet of those roads and the work unit, which is 130 acres. The closure area is along the southern boundary of the Pole Mountain unit, between Vedauwoo Recreation Area and Interstate 80.


The Forest roads and recreation area are already seasonally closed, so only non-motorized, dispersed recreationists will be impacted by the temporary area closure. Work is anticipated to be complete within several weeks. The contractor will be plowing the closed road segments behind the gates as needed for access to the project.


This project is Phase II of the Pole Mountain Landscape Fuels Treatment Partnership between Wyoming State Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service, which provides fuels reduction and habitat improvement operations across management boundaries. Mastication work has been accomplished recently on State and private lands bordering Pole Mountain. Phase I work was completed in 2016. Phase III of the project will be implemented as opportunity and funding are available.


The purpose of the current Forest closure order is to protect public health and safety where mastication of trees is occurring. Mastication involves shredding or mowing of small diameter vegetation by heavy machinery, and results in shards of wood being thrown long distances. The flying debris can be very hazardous.


Visitors may encounter machinery or plow trucks near the fuels reduction contract area. When machinery is encountered, visitors are advised to use caution. Additionally, the public should not enter areas which are posted closed, as they are closed for their safety.


Temporary closures are a short-term inconvenience needed to provide for long-term public safety. Forest users need to be aware of ongoing changes that may affect their travel and recreation plans.


The Pole Mountain Landscape Fuels Treatment Partnership agreement authorizes the State of Wyoming to implement fuels reduction, wildlife habitat improvement, and landscape restoration treatments across 2,676 acres (633 acres of State and 2,043 acres of Federal) in three phases.


While not available for official use in Wyoming when the agreement was signed, this partnership exemplifies the Good Neighbor Authority authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill and 2014 Appropriations Act.


For more information about this project, contact the Laramie Ranger District at (307) 745-2300.  You can also visit https://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or follow us on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.