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Forest Service faces resistance to Fryingpan logging plans

Feb 9, 2018

Trees marked for clear cutting in the Upper Fryingpan Valley
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

The U.S. Forest Service has received 11 formal objections to its draft decision to log up to 1,800 acres in the Upper Fryingpan Valley.

The objections come from the Town of Basalt, local homeowners and forest advocates. The Town of Basalt is concerned about safety, as the project could bring heavy truck traffic down the narrow Fryingpan Road and through town. Fryingpan Valley homeowners are concerned about the forest ecology, as well as impacts to recreation in the area.

The project includes clear-cutting, mostly of lodgepole pines. The Forest Service said this will provide timber for local industry, including a biomass plant in Eagle and a mill in Montrose. Agency officials said it will also mimic wildfire and encourage regrowth of an old forest.

The Forest Service has 45 days to review the objections before making a final decision on the project.