by Carolina King
Representatives of Colorado State Forest Service gave presentation to West Region Wildfire Council on Thursday, Nov. 8, regarding their work with logging companies to clear dead and diseased trees from national forests that could be fuel for future wildfires.
CSFS is working under authority granted to them in the 2014 Farm Bill known as the Good Neighbor Authority.
Jodi Rist, supervisory forester for CSFS in Montrose said the Good Neighbor Authority “basically gives the state forest service the authority to act on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in managing their property, with the same kind of intentions and objectives.”
Residents of and visitors to Ouray County may have noticed an increase in log trucks on roads this summer, due to the CSFS work.
Rist stated working with the USFS increases its capacity and efficiency.
“The intent of our projects varies significantly from fire mitigation work with shaded fuel breaks to forest health improvement projects and restoration, forest resiliency in the aftermath of beetle epidemics and climate change,” Rist said. “The work in Ouray was a public safety issue with removal of hazardous trees.”
She added that with any of their work they have “the objective of keeping the timber industry alive.”
Austin Shelby, a forester with the CSFS, presented a review of projects in the Ouray and Norwood areas in which he has been involved, including Angel Creek Campground and along Camp Bird Road.
The project along Camp Bird was to...