South Park Ranger District

Map of the District

View of Red Amphitheater in Buckskin Gulch


P.O. Box 219, 320 Hwy 285
Fairplay, CO 80440
Phone (719) 836-2031
Fax (719) 836-3875

Located on the northwest corner of US Highway 285 and Colorado Highway 9, at the only stoplight in Fairplay.


Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The South Park Ranger District consists of 456,599 acres mostly located in Park County with a small portion of the district located in Teller County. The district office is located in Fairplay, Colorado. The main highways through the district include Highway 285 south of Kenosha Pass to Trout Creek Pass and Highway 24 from Florissant, Colorado, to its intersection with Highway 285 at Trout Creek Pass. The district ranges in elevation from 7,100 to 14,285 feet, offers splendid scenic beauty, numerous recreational opportunities, timber, grazing, and minerals.


Aurora Water is expecting to conduct maintenance work at the Jefferson Lake Dam during the Fall of 2019.  Visitors should be prepared for lower water levels at the lake during the 2019 season. Work should begin mid-August and is expected to be completed by November. 


**Personal Use Fuelwood Sales on Pike National Forest**

South Park Ranger District sells fuelwood year-round.  First time buyers need to mail a copy of their drivers license and the form to the office. Please call South Park Ranger District at (719) 836-2031 for details to obtain firewood permits or download the form HERE.


**Transplant permits now available year-round**

Form can be downloaded HERE.

Traditionally the USFS has conducted two transplant programs per year. The dates were weather dependent, but generally ran from mid-March through the end of May, and again through the month of October. The reason for these two seasons was that this is when transplants have the highest likelihood of success. However, to provide the best customer service possible, starting in the spring of 2020 the South Park Ranger District will be selling transplant permits year-round. We do, however, encourage people to transplant their trees and shrubs either in the spring before buds begin to open, or in the fall after the plant has gone dormant. This will increase the transplant’s chances of survival and reduce the amount of work it takes to keep them alive.

The allowable species to be transplanted during this time will be:
  SHRUBS: Cinquefoil, Kinnikinick, Buffalo Berry, Woods Rose, Gooseberry and Common Juniper.
  TREES: All tree species.

The transplant program provides an excellent opportunity for you to plant trees and shrubs on your property as well as adding an aesthetic value to your community. A tree’s chance of survival is greatly increased if its new home is similar to its old home. By digging transplants on the national forest you can stay close to home for your planting stock.

• Permits are non-refundable.
• Maximum allowable height is eight feet.
• All holes dug shall be filled in.
• Trees removed must come from the South Park Ranger District.
• PROHIBITED AREAS: Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area, Jefferson Lake Recreation Area, Eleven Mile Canyon, Campgrounds, Picnic Areas, Lost Creek Wilderness, and Buffalo Peaks Wilderness.
• There is a maximum of 10 transplants allowed per adult individual. (Transplants are for personal use only and are not for resale; we do not sell commercial transplant permits.)
• Each transplant removed from the forest must be marked with a signed and numbered tree removal permit.

It is the permittee’s responsibility to make sure he/she is within the boundary of the South Park Ranger District; forest service personnel can answer questions regarding district boundaries.

Some roads on the South Park Ranger District are closed during the spring months to prevent resource damage. It is the responsibility of the permittee to know which roads are and are not accessible during the transplant season. Please stay on the road, even if it is muddy, or if it is causing damage to the road to use it find another area to look for transplants. Driving around muddy spots widens the road and can cause significant resource damage.



**Confused by Forest Service Travel Management???**

Many of you may have noticed an increasing number of seasonal gate closures across the Pike National Forest in the past couple of years.  While some may see these closures as arbitrary and capricious, it is important to note that these closures are in place for several reasons.  Some important things to keep in mind regarding closures include:

Seasonal Closures are temporary.  Generally they are only in effect from January 1 to June 15 (with some exceptions).  

Many Seasonal Closures have been in place for years; however, they may or may not have been adequately signed and/or gated in the past.

Seasonal Closures offer protection for big game species during the times of year when they are expecting the most stress (wintering and calving seasons).

Many Seasonal Closures were forced due to a lawsuit settlement in which the Forest Service was sued.

Seasonal Closures protect roads from damage during the mud season and spring runoff.

Additional information regarding Forest Service Travel Managment and Seasonal Closures.


**Forest Service Road 659 in Beaver Creek and 669 in Crooked Creek are closed to all Off Highway Vehicles including ATV’s, UTV’s, and motorcycles that do not have a state license plate.  This closure has been in effect since 2010.**


**Badger Gulch fuels management work is almost complete**

The Badger Gulch project is located approximately 6.5 miles NW of Lake George, CO in all or portions of sections 34 and 35 T11S, R72W; 6th PM and sections 1, 2, and 3 T12S, R72W; 6th PM Park County, Colorado, on the Pike San Isabel National Forest, administered by the South Park Ranger District. The project is bordered to the east by NFSR 225 and dissected by NFSR 291 and 291.A.  A contract map showing project location and access, a brief location description, and other information regarding specific items can be found by clicking HERE


Prescribed Fire Information on the South Park Ranger District

General Information

Visit our forest's home page for general information about prescribed fire.

The South Park Ranger District regularly post Tweets about our prescribed fires. Follow us on Twitter: @PSICC_NF for updates.

News Release about Winter Prescribed Burning in Park County

2019/20 Pile Burn Projects

WILSON RX: Five units, totaling approximately 375 acres, are targeted for this fall. Some or all units may be burned depending on conditions. Units may be broken into smaller units, if needed, to reduce smoke impacts. These burns will be highly visible from Lake George, Florissant, and Highway 24. They are located along the east side of the Blue Mountain road (County Road 61) just south of Lake George. Most of the project area has been thinned with the slash already burned or removed from the site.  Vegetation is primarily open ponderosa pine, some Douglas fir, grass, and shrubs.  The objectives are to reduce surface fuel loading and ladder fuels while regenerating grasses and shrubs. The overall goal is to reduce potential for high intensity fires, and lower the risk to adjacent private lands and homes. A secondary goal is to improve wildlife habitat. Use the Twitter Hashtag: #LakeGeoRx

BEAVER RX: Three units, of approximately 200 acres, are planned here.   They are located approximately eight miles southwest of Lake George off County Road 100 near the Beaver Valley subdivision.  The burns and smoke will be very visible from the Beaver Valley, Echo Valley, Wagon Tongue and other nearby subdivisions; as well as County Road 98.  Ponderosa pine and aspen with grass are the most common vegetation, but it also includes pockets of Douglas fir/mixed conifer.  Areas of these units were thinned, piled, and burned. There are pockets of heavier down and dead material. The objectives are to reduce surface fuel loading and ladder fuels with secondary objectives of regenerating grasses and shrubs to improve wildlife habitat.  The overall goal here too is to reduce potential for high intensity fires and lower the risk to adjacent private lands and homes.   Use the Twitter Hashtag: #LakeGeoRx

O’BRIEN RX: One unit of approximately 200 acres is planned here.   They are located approximately three miles southwest of Lake George between Rocky and O’Brien Gulches and Eleven Mile Canyon; south of Forest Road 251.1B.  Smoke will be readily visible from County Road 92 and Elevenmile Canyon.  Ponderosa pine is the most common vegetation but it includes meadows, aspen and Douglas fir.  The steeper south facing slopes, such as in O’Brien Gulch, are mostly grass and shrubs. There are pockets of heavier down and dead material. The objectives are to reduce surface fuel loading and ladder fuels with secondary objectives of regenerating grasses and shrubs to improve wildlife habitat.  The overall goal here too is reduce potential for high intensity fires and lower the risk to adjacent private lands and homes. Use the Twitter Hashtag: #LakeGeoRx

Tornado Cleanup/Salvage Contract: Located about four miles west of Lake George and south of County Road 92 on the northeast side of Forest Road 251. Piles are made up of tops and limbs, as well as smaller boles. They are large “landing” type piles. The slash is a result of salvaging tornado blown down trees as well as additional thinning in the area. Most landing piles were burned last winter, there are only a couple piles left to burn.

Round Mountain Fuels Mitigation Project: Located approximately six miles northwest of Lake George along the 290 Forest Roads between County Road 77 and Forest Road 223. It’s made up of tops and limbs, as well as some smaller boles, from thinning.  Most of the hand piles were burned the winter 2018/19 however, none of the landing piles were.  Landing piles and the remaining hand piles will be burned this winter.

Lake George Work Center: Located in Lake George. It’s made up of tops and limbs, as well as some smaller boles, from fuels mitigation around the compound.

Road Gulch Future Prescribed Fire Project: Located approximately six miles southwest of Lake George, off County Road 98 to the north and 3/4 mile south of Wagon Tongue subdivision. It is hand piled thinning slash of trees less than 6 inches in diameter, cut to reduce the risk for implementing a future prescribed burn here. Many of the hand piles were burned the winter of 2018/19, but more thinning has occurred during the summer of 2019.  However, not all piles from this past summer will be dry enough to burn, many will have to be burned in the winter of 2020-21.

For all pile burns use the Twitter hashtag: #LkGeoRx


What To Expect (Pile Burns)


Detailed burn plans are also prepared for pile burning which are used to guide the implementation of these burns. A GO/NO GO checklist is performed prior to ignition to make sure all requirements to burn are in place before the final decision to burn is made. Piles are burned with snow cover.


Piles are typically ignited mid to late morning. Hand piles will burn actively for approximately an hour; the most smoke is produced during this time. Afterwards, crews will go back and “chunk” any unburned material back into the pile to improve consumption. There will be a short burst of higher activity and smoke. The piles will then burn down over the next several hours. The majority of piles will be out by evening or overnight.  Smoke production after the first day is very limited to none.

The large “landing” piles will burn actively for several hours and will take longer to burn down then the hand piles described above. Most smoke production will be done by evening, but they may continue to smolder through the night. They typically will take a few days to go out.


Burn units will be patrolled daily unless snow covered or out. Conditions will dictate patrol time and duration as well as the number of firefighters and equipment.  Piles will be mopped up if needed.

Prescribed fire smoke may affect your health. For more information, please visit:!ut/p/z1/jVDbcoIwEP0aHiVBKkPb4QEKI7aAhcotL05ALiIYCgji1xe005da684kmz17zs7mAAQ8gPa43Sa42ZI9zofaR9x6Ci8h8nCpqo4x1b8BCNyrBEf7IaB79PCPEO_U3yCg2-NdgMA_HwC3JxgqKSLwClCSk-BimbgPWD4BqIriqIoq-lANcNo0Zf1EQQpWdB3hKkzpHqeE0CEpKLju80YQoaY4zO4zS474RTJFR5l5Rk_E56F7EDyWyPpK6ZGrnMLiMZfmRhvMedkv_KOkSm3Y6UNGELumbGYmXMpGrJvWCbm6HLKLCQUtR5gOtyIwMwbykIEcN5RLgRmWsmzhvCHFsJhipvF4uq6j45o-1BtMJ6QdoYQ0ZMxlvQ3D8VGTcjeo386TPwStXS2wyb0HtpJF6432JsntbjOz6sqfXLMmJXUDvN-OgLKwbQ9mDyjouy88Qa4z/dz/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/?position=Not%20Yet%20Determined.Html&pname=Pike%20and%20San%20Isabel%20National%20Forests%2C%20Cimarron%20and%20Comanche%20National%20Grasslands-%20Districts&ss=110212&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&pnavid=170000000000000&navid=170110000000000&ttype=detail&cid=fsm9_032763