Bald Mountain Stewardship Project Preserves Ski Resort Against Insects, Wildfire

Eye on Sun Valley Daily Local News –

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Kurt Nelson surveyed a clearing that had just been carved out on a part of Bald Mountain known as Little Scorpion and envisioned skiing down the perfect fall line, which sported brown slash where dead and dying trees had once stood.

“I told Neil Bradshaw I’m not going to name a run after me, but if I did this would be it,” he said as he gazed down the new opening which fell 1,800 to 2,000 feet down the Warm Springs side of Bald Mountain.

That opening and many more have been opened up by a massive yellow 78,000-pound Ponsse harvester that has worked its way through the Frenchman’s and Scorpion areas this summer, removing dead and dying trees. Read more here.

The Bald Mountain Stewardship Project – National Forest Foundation

The purpose of the Bald Mountain Stewardship Project is to reduce fuels and associated fire risk, improve forest health, and preserve the recreational experience on and around Bald Mountain, home of the Sun Valley Ski Resort. This world-renowned recreational destination drives central Idaho’s economy and is the primary viewshed for the communities of Ketchum and Sun Valley. Read More Here

Taking Care Of Baldy

By Sabina Dana Plasse Photos courtesy Sun Valley Company

As most Wood River Valley residents and those who frequent the area know, wildfire and beetle kill is an ever-present situation that requires consistent attention to mitigate wildfire risk and improve forest health. In an ongoing landscape-scale and multi-year plan as well as a unique partnership, the Bald Mountain Stewardship Project (BMSP) is preserving Baldy in collaboration with Sun Valley Company (SVC), the National Forest Foundation (NFF), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to ensure that our renowned recreation destination continues to be a world-class experience while improving forest health and reducing fuels and associated fire risk. This ambitious project is projected to cover over 6,000 acres of land split between the USFS and the BLM, with over 3,000 acres on Bald Mountain. The project aims to protect the area’s forests, economy, and viewshed. Read More Here

Wyden, Merkley: U.S. Forest Service Contracts With Eight Oregon Businesses to Provide Wildland Firefighter Crews

Federal contracts slated for companies in Merlin, Redmond, Salem, Ashland, Philomath, Merrill, Sutherlin and Independence

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today welcomed news that the U.S. Forest Service is awarding contracts to Oregon companies in Merlin, Redmond, Salem, Ashland, Philomath, Merrill, Sutherlin and Independence to provide crews to fight wildland fires.

“Fighting wildfires and protecting lives, homes and small businesses in Oregon and nationwide demand trained crews that can respond quickly and reliably,” Wyden said. “I’m pleased the Forest Service has recognized these Oregon companies can provide these essential and courageous workers who can defend communities from the devastation that wildfires can unleash.”

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High tech mitigation protecting Colorado Springs water

Posted at 12:00 PM, Oct 09, 2021
and last updated 12:00 PM, Oct 09, 2021

 

COLORADO SPRINGS — There is new fire mitigation technology at work above North Catamount Reservoir on the north slope of Pikes Peak. “We’re getting rid of a lot of infected trees,” said Eric Howell, Forest Program Manger for Colorado Springs Utilities. The Spruce Bud Worm has been really bad up here.” The work is a Colorado Spring Utilities project to better protect the water supply in the reservoir by thinning out dead and compromised trees from the surrounding forest.

Cutting out vegetation with heavy equipment is not new.

Different with this project is a new to the area kind of machine called the Cut-to-Length Harvesting Machine contracted through an Oregon forestry company. “It’s very nimble, very flexible,” said Miller Timber Services, Forester and Vice President, Matthew Mattioda.

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New technology improves forest health, decreases wildfire risk on Pikes Peak’s north slope

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) — Removing dead or dying trees from steep mountain slopes can be a time-consuming and dangerous job, but new technology is making the process easier and safer on the north slope of Pikes Peak.

Colorado Springs Utilities has hired an Oregon company to use two pieces of state-of-the art machinery that will remove trees from 35 acres above North Catamount Reservoir.

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Making a difference at Monarch Pass:

Project salvages beetle-kill trees on steep slopes to reduce wildfire risk, protect water resources

While the Upper Arkansas Valley has received plenty of rain this summer, smoke in the air has served as a reminder that the threat of wildfire is never far away, a situation made more urgent by the brown forest of beetle-kill trees around Monarch Pass. Thanks to a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Forest Service and the Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative (ARWC), the threat of catastrophic wildfire is lessening around Monarch Pass. 

With 90% of mature trees in the area killed by spruce beetles, the Monarch Pass Forest and Watershed Health Project is removing the dead trees to reduce the fuel load and the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The project employs new logging technology—cut-to-length, or CTL, equipment—to remove beetle-kill trees on steep slopes. Compared to traditional steep-slope logging methods, the CTL approach provides a more economical, less damaging method of harvesting timber.

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Stepping Up To Fire

STEPPING UP TO FIRE

By Jan Jackson

When Lee Miller, president and CEO of Miller Timber Services in Philomath, Oregon, sees a need that isn’t being met, he gets his team together and does something about it. His recent project was working with Ponsse to turn his regular forest machines into impressive pieces of firefighting equipment. It has taken two years, but they’ve done it.

Ponsse, the privately owned Finnish company specializing in forest products and equipment, employs more than 1,800 people in 10 countries. They have years of experience coming up with quick, easy, and simple ways to equip their large and medium sized forwarders with firefighting equipment that contains centrifugal impeller water pumps and water cannons that are powered by the machine’s loader hydraulics.

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Opinion: Loggers are firefighting heroes

There is nothing more disheartening than being called a hero during fire season and then slandered in the media or overregulated outside of fire emergencies. Firefighters are not just 20-person handcrews, hotshots and smokejumpers. They are also loggers, ranchers, road builders and much more.

Forest contractors are being enlisted by public firefighting agencies to help stop the blazes across the state. In fact, the Oregon Department of Forestry and its federal partners rely heavily on the skilled labor that loggers and other contracted service people provide during fire season.

 

Baldy gets a trim to improve forest health

$350,000 in new funding this week expected to ramp up annual work

The forests in and around the ski slopes on Bald Mountain are under attack by Douglas-fir beetle, dwarf mistletoe, white pine blister rust and other infestations. A combination of deadfall and canopy overgrowth has increased fire risk, as wide swathes of trees have died and gone brown in the last few years.

The landscape, in other words, is struggling. But a new, multi-faceted initiative aims to aid it in its fight.

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