The U.S. Forest Service released a draft decision yesterday to log up to 1,800 acres in the Upper Fryingpan Valley.
Forest Service officials said the plan provides timber to local industries, improves the diversity of the forest and offers snowshoe hare habitat. Local residents had expressed concern about damage to pristine wildlife habitat and popular recreation areas and increased traffic on the narrow Fryingpan Road.
The decision removes 35 acres from the original logging proposal in order to protect high-quality habitat for the endangered Canada lynx. The Forest Service has acknowledged that the project could have negative impacts on foraging and nesting habitat for several birds of prey species.