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Log on for forest fire prevention plan

The proposals to reduce brush and small trees, otherwise known as fuels, from the Routt National Forest by means of clearing and burning can be viewed on the Internet.

The Web site explains thinning and burning proposals in the Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest in Colorado and Wyoming that help to prevent forest fires from becoming unmanageable near urban areas. It also provides maps of the areas, which are all adjacent to private lands.

Maps include projects at Dry Lake near Steamboat Springs, the Morrison Creek drainage near Stagecoach, south of the town of Gould, and an area northwest of Kremmling known as Red Dirt.

This spring, Medicine Bow/Routt Forest officials are expected to have a more refined proposal, called an Environmental Assessment, of the fuel reduction plan.

For more information, or to comment on the plan, log on to www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/fire or write to Fuel Reduction Team, Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest, 925 Weiss Drive, Steam-boat Springs, 80487.

Bill would have let public land go 'wild'

A congressional bill that could add 1.35 million acres of public land into a wilderness designation, including 13,500 acres just east of Rabbit Ears Pass, is being held until the summer.

The bill, which was active until Thursday, is being delayed until the 13 Colorado counties involved can hold hearings to collect public comment about the proposed land protection, said Suzanne Jones of the Wilderness Society.

The 1.35 million acres is spread between 46 different sites in Colorado. The one closest to Routt County is 13,500 acres in Troublesome.

That area is east of Rabbit Ears Pass in Jackson and Grand counties in the Arapaho National Forest.

A small portion of the land touches the Routt National Forest.

The bill was delayed after members of the Colorado Counties Inc. asked to hold off on it until public hearings could be held, Jones said.

It is expected to be introduced again in July.

A wilderness designation would mean the land would be protected in its pristine state by not allowing any motorized equipment, mountain biking, logging and mining in the area, among other restrictions.

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