April 30, 2012

Visitor Opportunities Reduced in Two Colorado National Forests

In northern Colorado, the US Forest Service promises "rolling" closures of trails and roads as beetle-killed lodgepole pines on the Arapahoe National Forest are cut to reduce hazards.
Almost every popular national forest access in Grand County will be affected at some point during the spring and summer, from mountain biking access near the towns of Winter Park and Fraser to hiking and backpacking trailheads to anglers and campers who use the Arapaho National Recreation Area (ANRA). 
in southern Colorado, where windstorms knocked down thousands of trees in the Sangre de Cristo Range, blocking trails and damaging a popular campground on the San Isabel National Forest, there is talk of "prioritizing" the response.
[District ranger Paul] Crespin, [Jeff] Outhier and other USFS officials will be meeting with local elected officials, civic groups and tourism organizations here to explain the situation in the Sangres, and to encourage them to urge summer visitors [instead] to take advantage of trails, campgrounds and public lands in the Wet Mountains. 
Crespin said it may take many months to open the Sangre trails, and some may never be restored to their prior conditions.
In both cases, it's mainly a recreational/tourism issue. If people can't play, will they stay? The Wet Mountains offer some hiking trails and only one developed campground, at Lake Isabel.

(And then there is the whole frozen-cow disposal issue.)


Peculiar said...

Here's a glimpse of that blowdown in the Sangres.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Excellent photos.