Boulder Ranger District’s Fall plans for Fire and Beetle Mitigation, Slash Piles, and Firewood Collection

by admin on September 28, 2012


Fuels reduction project work and slash pile (post-treatment woody debris) management will be going strong on National Forest System lands within the U.S. Forest Service’s Boulder Ranger District boundary this fall, with hopes to get some major work done near communities before the snow flies.

Cutting and hauling activities for the purpose of fuels reduction within the Boulder Heights, West Magnolia, and Kelly Dahl areas are scheduled to occur this fall and possibly into the early winter months.  As long as weather allows, crews will also be chipping slash piles in Johnny Park Road, Taylor Mountain, Bunce School, County Road 100J, Gold Hill Road, Hwy 7, and Blue Jay Mine site areas.

Boulder Heights west of Boulder

Work on the Boulder Heights portion of the James Creek Hazardous Fuel reduction project could begin as early as Oct. 1. Crews will thin ponderosa pine stands near the Boulder Heights subdivision to reduce potential for unwanted fire behavior. Thinning is expected to be completed by the end of October if weather permits. Slash piles will be scheduled for burning after the material cures in winter 2013 or 2014.

West Magnolia, high-use recreation area near Nederland high school

The West Magnolia portion of the Lump Gulch Fuels Reduction project is approximately 45 % complete.  Work to address hazardous fuels, beetle infestation, and road and trailside hazard trees will continue through the fall. Trees above five inches in diameter will be removed, with retention of all aspen and young trees (four inches in diameter and below), and some islands of mixed conifers. Piles left behind that cannot be chipped, masticated, or hauled off will be scheduled for burning after the material cures in winter 2013 or 2014.  A West Magnolia project webpage is available for information on area closure, treatment prescription and map:

Kelly Dahl campground, south of Nederland off of Peak to Peak Hwy

If crews and equipment are available, cutting in and around the Kelly Dahl campground as part of the Lump Gulch project could begin as soon as December 2012.  Work near the campground will focus on hazardous fuel reduction and the mountain pine beetle infestation.  Hazard trees at risk of falling over will also be addressed. Lodgepole will be cut in groups instead of thinned to remove as much fuel as possible, and ponderosa stands within the campground boundary will be retained. Work will commence through the winter, while the campground is seasonally closed to all access and tentatively open before Memorial Day weekend. Piles that cannot be chipped, masticated, or hauled off will be scheduled for burning after the material cures, possibly in winter 2013 or 2014.

Slash Piles management, various areas within the district boundary        

South Zone fuels specialists put together a 2012 chipping contract to address 1,072 acres of slash piles in addition to the existing 2012 pile maintenance plan. Approximately 25% of the contract has been completed, including piles along the Johnny Park Road, Taylor Mountain, and the Bunce School area.  Piles off of County Road 100J, Gold Hill Road, Highway 7, and adjacent to the Blue Jay Mine site near Jamestown will be addressed until weather shuts the operations down for the season. Piles on steep slopes in the areas listed will not be chipped due to equipment restraints and will be scheduled for burning during a winter season following the strict regional-level burn protocol.

Firewood permits, within the Boulder Ranger district boundary

Many people are interested in collecting firewood in recently treated areas, after cutting crews and equipment are gone. Permits to collect firewood are available at the Boulder District office for $20 per cord.  These permits may be used on National System lands within the Boulder District boundaries with the exception of specific areas identified in the permit.

All non-Forest Service personnel are asked to refrain from entering any areas where project activities are underway or equipment is stationed and from adding or removing wood from any existing slash piles as this action poses serious safety hazards. For more details on obtaining a firewood permit and where to go for suitable wood, please call visitor information services at 303-541-2500.

To opt in for updates about work coming up in and around your mountain community, please write an email to and name the community you live in. This email list will only be used to provide updates on U.S. Forest Service activities involving the National Forest System lands within the Boulder Ranger District boundary.


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