U.S. Forest Service Makes Change To Harris Park Project

Release Date: Mar 1, 2010

Contact(s): Barb Timock, Public Affairs (719) 553-1415, Matt Schweich (303) 275-5615


USDA Forest Service
Rocky Mountain Region
Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands
South Platte Ranger District
19316 Goddard Ranch Court
Morrison, CO 80465


Barb Timock, Public Affairs (719) 553-1415
Matt Schweich (303) 275-5615
U.S. Forest Service Makes Change To Harris Park Project
Morrison, Co., March 1, 2010…The U.S. Forest Service – Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC), South Platte Ranger District has approved limited fuel treatment operations in portions of the Harris Park Fuel Treatment Project on weekends and holidays.
The change allows for cutting, skidding, and other activities in those parts of the treatment units farther than ½ mile from private property. Work close to private property and product hauling will continue to be limited to weekdays.
South Platte Ranger District is beginning fuel reduction treatments on 482 acres of land immediately adjacent to the Harris Park community located in Park County. West Range Reclamation, operating under a Long Term Stewardship Contract, is doing the on-the-ground work.
The Harris Park Fuels Management Project is designed to create sustainable forest conditions that are more resilient to fire, insects, and diseases, while providing for diverse wildlife habitats, recreational opportunities, and sustainable watershed conditions. The project is intended to reduce the risk, intensity, and hazards associated with a wildland fire near the Harris Park community, improve forest health, and enhance ecological diversity.
The actual treatment includes a combination of product removal and mastication, a method by which trees are mulched and shredded. In order to reduce potential fire behavior, trees of all different sizes will be removed, including some of the larger trees. Sale of these logs will help offset the cost of the project. Implementation is planned for February 2010 through June 2010.
The public and members of the Harris Park community are accustomed to using formal (system) roads and trails, as well as informal (non-system) trails on National Forest System lands through the treatment area. The treatment area also contains one developed campground, one developed trailhead, and an informal shooting range. The equipment used for the project has the potential to throw large pieces of wood 100 yards or more, posing a safety hazard to any individuals near the equipment. For this reason, the PSICC Forest Supervisor has closed the project area to all unauthorized entry to protect public health and safety.
The affected area consists of approximately 2,880 acres of National Forest System lands in and adjacent to the treatment area. The closure has been divided into two closure areas to reflect the contractor’s proposed schedule and minimize loss of recreational opportunities at the developed campground and trailhead. Once treatments are complete and the threat to public safety is removed, the closure order will be rescinded.
Please see related links below for photo, map and full story:
The area is a dense mix of lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, and Douglas-fir, interspersed with a minor component of limber pine, bristlecone pine, and Engelmann spruce.