Several Winter Park area trails are closing temporarily while a fuels reduction project is underway in the Vasquez Road and Leland Creek area. Initially slated to begin September 10, the contractor has been delayed 10-14 days. Barricades and signs have been staged, but the trails remain open for the public to use until work begins, at which time the barricades will be activated. The closure will be in effect from late September through mid-December and includes the general forest area west of Vasquez Road (FSR 148) and southeast of Leland Creek Road (FSR 159), as well as Take D’Leap, Leap Frog, D4 and D3 trails.
The work involves thinning and clearing 135 acres of trees using large machinery and logging trucks to fell, skid, deck, load and haul trees. The closed area and trails will not be safe for visitors while work is in progress.
This work is part of an ongoing district-wide effort to help the forest recover from the impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic and to improve watershed resiliency and wildlife habitat. The work removes predominantly lodgepole pine from the impacted forested areas while encouraging the regeneration of lodgepole pine and other species.
Remaining slash will be piled to cure and then burn in winter conditions. Some of the existing trails will be damaged by the work. The contractor will perform restoration and repairs to any forest system trails that are damaged as a result of logging operations. The Forest is working with Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA) through the Trail Smart Sizing project to enhance the trail system in the area once the logging is complete. For more information and to see a map of the closure area, visit: fs.usda.gov/.