The Columbine Ranger District is taking comments until Oct. 17 on plans to plant seedling trees in areas around Vallecito that burned in the 2002 Missionary Ridge fire. Some areas are not regenerating on their own.
The plan covers around 780 acres in scattered parcels on federal land on both sides of the reservoir. The plan is to plant around 350 Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees per acre in the spring after snow melt. A small amount of limber pine might be planted in very rocky places.
Seedlings will be planted by 10 to 20 person crews using hand tools. Pickups, ATVs, UTVs, and horses could be used to deliver trees to the planting areas. Some late spring snow plowing might be needed. Any roads blocked by trees or debris would be cleared by hand, chainsaws, or winches.
Crews would use both Forest Service roads (open and closed) and private roads to get to the planting areas. The private roads are Ho Hum Drive probably for a day or two, and a road that takes off up the Jack Creek drainage from the CR 501 switchback below the dam.
Access on the east side would be from CR 501A and the East Creek road.
Planting will probably take two weeks per season starting next spring through spring 2017.
The Forest Service has already identified several positive and negative impacts: short term negative impacts on recreation and travel management; improved visual resources; short-term negative and long-term positive impacts on wildlife, neighboring landowners, soil and watershed conditions; possible negative effect of noxious weed spread.
The Forest Service is seeking comments on other general issues or on specific concerns.
For more information or to submit comments, contact Forester/ Project Leader Gretchen Fitzgerald at the Columbine Ranger District office in Bayfield, PO Box 439, Bayfield 81122 or email@example.com; or call 884-1435 or 799-1222.
Comments will be part of the public record and will be available for public review.