Logging activity wraps up for winter | SteamboatToday.com

Logging activity wraps up for winter

Doug Crowl

— With winter creeping in, logging operations in blowdown areas in Routt County are winding down.
Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2 million board feet of wood were taken out of blowdown areas in north Routt County on 400 trips by logging trucks.
That effort represented a total revenue of $48,000, Forest Service Spokeswoman Liz Mauch said.
The logging in the blowdown marks the second summer of removing the uprooted timber from the Routt National Forest. The trees were blown down in a freak wind storm in 1997 that toppled thousands of acres of trees west of Clark.
“It’s moving right along. Each one of the contracts to take out the timber are on schedule,” said Kim Vogel, Yampa and Bears Ears district ranger for the Routt National Forest.
A number of different crews are working in the area, employing about 80 people. Three companies purchased all the timber: Louisiana Pacific Corporation from Saratoga, Wyo.; Intermountain Resources LLC from Montrose; and K and K Lumber from Silt.
The wood was taken to those communities and milled into two-by-four studs or other lumber products, Mauch said. Other whole trees were used for log homes.
The biggest concern with letting logging companies remove the blown-down trees was the traffic that it would create in rural north Routt, Vogel said.
“People wanted to make sure that they didn’t have large trucks barreling down the country roads,” Vogel said.
The agreement was that truck drivers would be extra careful when driving on the roads. If the Forest Service gets repeated complaints about a company not driving safely, the agency will not hire them again, Vogel said.
So far, all has gone well, she said.
“We have had quite a few comments from people who said it was better than they expected,” Vogel said.
Most of the logging operations are shutting down for the winter because of snow covering the downed timber. However, some helicopter logging will go on for another two weeks.
Mauch estimated that six logging trucks a day will be on Seed House Road and then head toward Steamboat on Elk River Road from the logging.
Two of the four timber sales, Downdraft and Jetstream, are expected to be finished next year.

To reach Doug Crowl call 87-4206 or e-mail dcrowl@amigo.net

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