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Environmental briefs: Silverthorne opens new motorized trails

After receiving a grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Off-Highway Vehicle program last summer, the Dillon Ranger District announced earlier this week the opening of new trails in Silverthorne near Tenderfoot Mountain. Specifically, the three new trails are in the Frey Gulch and Tenderfoot areas, and are also the result of help from both the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District (FDRD) and Summit County Off Road Riders (SCORR). The trails, Moab-Knobby, Powerline Loop and Seven of Nine, parallel the Frey Gulch Road and create several loop opportunities.....READ MORE


Summit County Forest Watchers Ramp Up Monitoring Efforts

As winter’s grip on the mountains loosens and the snow on the ground finally melts, the region’s volunteer protectors of national forest lands move into action. The Summit County Forest Health Task Force started as a nonprofit about a decade ago to help the U.S. Forest Service offset the destruction of the seasonal pine beetle. It has since spread to larger aims. Today, the organization works in establishing cooperative efforts among area stakeholders to educate about forest health and restoration, as well as assist the Forest Service, which has increasingly seen its budget stripped away each year....READ MORE


10th Mountain Division Movie Nights sponsored by FDRD

SDN, January 17, 2015

While the forest floor here in Summit County is covered with snow, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District is still buzzing with activity. This winter, we are adding a few events to continue to raise awareness and funds toward our forest-stewardship efforts. Starting this month, we are hosting our first-ever 10th Mountain Division Movie Trilogy.

In November 1939, during the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland, Finnish soldiers on skis frustrated Russian efforts following the destruction of two armor divisions. The conflict...

Summit County forest management the focus of public discussion Thursday

SDN, November 13, 2014

The Forest Health Task Force will host a public panel discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of active and passive forest management on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in the County Commons in Frisco.

Panelists will include Scott Fitzwilliams, supervisor of the White River National Forest; Mike Lester, Colorado State Forest Service; Cary Green, White River National Forest timber management administrator; Chuck Rhoades, Forest Service watershed biogeochemistry researcher; Kristen Pelz, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute research associate; and Brad Piehl, Forest Health Task Force member.

Panelists will talk about...

The Hot and Dry West is killing our forests

High Country News, Sept 28, 2014

Severe fires, unprecedented bark beetle infestations, heat and drought — all exacerbated by climate change — are killing trees throughout the Rocky Mountains. So whether you're a fan of New Mexico's piñon pines, Colorado's aspens or Montana's whitebark pines, the West's forests could look radically different in 50 to 100 years. That's the message of a report released last week by the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists and the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.

The authors want people to see dead trees as a...


Meet Your Forest: Volunteer to be a forest monitor (column)

This May we begin our sixth Forest Monitoring season. We already have over 200 monitoring locations throughout Summit County where volunteer citizen scientists track the health of our forest lands. We have a team of dedicated volunteers, but need more people of all ages and physical abilities to join us.

You will be measuring regeneration of trees, forest diversity and other forest resiliency indicators. You will be identifying outbreaks of noxious weeds and invasive species so that the U.S. Forest Service can take action to eradicate. You will have opportunities to....READ MORE


Bill Jackson: New head of Dillon Ranger District

SDN, February 19, 2015

On Wednesday, Bill Jackson eyed the box that held his stand-up desk. It was just like the one he had used for two years as a Forest Service district ranger in Vermont. And now it sat in his Silverthorne office, waiting to be assembled.

Jackson was one month into his new role as head of the Dillon Ranger District, which manages the three-quarters of Summit County’s land that is part of the White River National Forest.

Access road to Quandary Peak at the center of bitter Summit County controversy

SDN, December 24, 2014

About 7 miles south of Breckenridge stands one of Colorado's most famous 14ers.

Most hikers and skiers headed toward the 14,265-foot Quandary Peak to enjoy a backcountry adventure have no idea about a problem intensifying not far from the mountain's trailhead.

The argument centers on...

State’s new fire detection aircraft to speed response to wildfires

Fox31 Denver

The state of Colorado becomes the first in the nation to unveil its new, state-of-the-art fire detection aircraft.

The two planes use infrared cameras and on-board computer systems. They're based at Centennial Airport and can be anywhere in the state in an hour to provide critical real-time data about wildfire behavior, size and spread to crews on the ground.

The sophisticated software system allows...


Forest Service seeks input on clear-cutting projects around Keystone

SDN, Aug 26, 2014

The Forest Service hosted a meeting Wednesday, Aug. 20, to give Summit County residents a chance to provide input before the agency designs a vegetation management plan, mostly clear-cutting, for specific areas around Keystone.

"It's easier if people come to the table earlier on," said Brett Crary, silviculturalist with the White River National Forest, rather than a couple of years into the planning process.

About 10 residents...