Pikes Peak Ranger District to implement Upper Monument Creek fuels reduction project

The Pikes Peak Ranger District on the Pike-San Isabel National Forests will be conducting a fuels reduction project in Upper Monument Creek in support of the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service’s 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The purpose of this project is to create a defensible space along Mt. Herman Road as well as along the Forest Service boundary. This project is scheduled to begin the week of June 5, 2023, and is expected to last approximately two weeks.

Due to safety concerns such as flying debris and felled tree limbs, the project area must be avoided by the public during the entire project period.

There are two mastication treatment areas. Up to 25 acres will be treated in Area 1, which involves masticating hand piles created from previous treatments. Up to 150 acres will be treated in Area 2 and involve masticating small diameter trees or “ladder fuels,” which will create a defensible space/fuel break for the adjacent subdivision and town of Monument.

Mechanical thinning of forests reduces the amount of vegetation that has built up to dangerous levels and benefits forests by reducing the probability of catastrophic fires, helping maintain and restore healthy and resilient ecosystems, and protecting lives and communities near the boundaries between wildlands and urbanization. Mechanical treatment can be used on its own or together with prescribed burning to change how wildfire behaves so that if a fire does burn through a treated area, it is less destructive, less costly, and easier to control.

“The U.S. Forest Service ensures that mechanical thinning sustains healthy forest ecosystems while also protecting lives and property,” said Pikes Peak District Ranger Carl Bauer. “We rely on skilled professionals who are guided by law and policy and grounded by science.”

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