STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO-September 21, 2012-The Steamboat Ski Area will continue logging projects at the resort for pine beetle mitigation. Logging operations on approximately 40 acres will result in closures and detours of the resorts hiking, mountain biking and Steamboat Bike Park trails beginning Monday, September 24th.
“It is imperative that the public understands the dangers associated with an operation of this scope and abide by all closures and signs, and keep clear of the impacted areas,” said Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “As we continue to grow and expand our on-mountain activities, the mitigation and logging work we do during the fall season becomes an important part of our winter preparations and future summer planning.”
To help establish safety perimeters around the logging project, the US Forest Service has issued a closure for the area that encompasses Burgess Creek drainage between Why Not Road to Creekside. A helicopter yarding method will be implemented to yard logs from slopes to a centralized log landing location, adding to heightened safety procedures during the fall season. No biking, hiking, hunting or other access is permitted in this area. The closure goes into effect Monday, September 24th and will continue until the work is completed.
“With the scope of this project and the equipment for removal, it is in the best interest of guests and the ski resort for the National Forest area affected to be closed,” said recreation manager Kent Foster. “We realize this is a short term impact of popular in-close trails, but it has a long term benefit. Please respect the signs and closure and enjoy other areas during this time. Steamboat’s logging efforts have a history of expedient and smooth progression and we expect the same safe pace will exist during this project.”
During the first week of logging, September 24- 30, Rawhide and Tenderfoot trails in the Steamboat Bike Park will be closed. Creekside and Why Not Road will remain open to bikers, as will Thunderhead hiking trail for hikers. Mountain trails will remain open as conditions permit. Please respect all signs and trail closures while accessing mountain areas.
During upcoming operations, crews will be falling trees and using heavy equipment such as skidders and logging trucks, as well as a helicopter. Removal of logs by helicopter makes the process more environmentally friendly by limiting the ground footprint and decreasing the potential for soil erosion and sedimentation to streams.
This work is being done in response to impacts from the mountain pine beetle which has increased the risk of falling trees. Previous and current logging will result in reduced hazards from falling trees to visitors. The logging program continues to focus solely on lodgepole pine and will not affect spruce, fir or aspen. Steamboat is fortunate that the forest cover on the mountain is so diverse, making impacts from the pine beetle epidemic less extensive.