The Forest Service is seeking public comments on the Basalt Mountain Salvage and Rehabilitation project, which proposes strategies to manage terrain scorched by this summer’s Lake Christine Fire.
The fire, which started in early July, impacted just over 8,500 acres of national forest lands north of Basalt on the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. The fire in total burned 12,600 acres and three homes were lost on the night of July 4.
The project would remove roadside hazard trees along Cattle Creek Road (NFSR 509) and Basalt Mountain Road (NFSR 524), create defensible space near homes in the Cattle Creek area, salvage burned and partially burned trees with marketable or usable value (logs and/or biomass) to local/regional industry, monitor and assess for natural reforestation, and allow for future tree planting as needed.
“We would like to address the impacts from the fire as soon as possible and take actions within the burned area to ensure long-term and reliable public access,” Kevin Warner, acting district ranger, said in a press release. “For safety reasons, we want to remove hazard trees along roadways and harvest merchantable trees in places already identified as suitable for these types of management actions.”
A public open-house meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 11. at the Basalt Library located at 14 Midland Ave. from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend to ask questions and learn about the project.
“Moving forward with this project quickly will help to ensure that the burned trees in the area are still useable,” Warner said. “We look forward to hearing from the public at the upcoming open-house meeting, or through the public comment process.”
This project would be in addition to the short-term emergency actions that are ongoing by the Burned Area Emergency Response Team.
How to comment
The opportunity to comment is initiated by a legal notice published on Nov. 29. Specific written comments on the proposed project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following publication of the legal notice.
Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to: Karen Schroyer, District Ranger, c/o Christopher McDonald, PO Box 309, Carbondale, Colorado 81623, FAX: (970) 963-1012. Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=55031 .
For more information, visit the project page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55031.