Elk River Road to see up to eight log trucks daily

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— Motorists traveling Routt County Road 129 between Steamboat Springs and the North Routt village of Clark this summer are being urged to keep an eye out for logging trucks on the winding road.

Aaron Voos, spokesman for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, said as many as eight trucks daily can be expected to travel toward Steamboat, where they then will head for a timber mill south of Grand Junction in Montrose. The logging trucks will be loaded with several species of evergreen trees harvested from the Larson II timber sale. The area is along Forest Service Road 42, which roughly parallels Mill Creek on the west end of Steamboat Lake. From the forest road, the logging trucks will travel C.R. 62 to reach C.R. 129 at an intersection next to the Clark Store.

Much of the timber will come from trees that already have been killed by mountain pine beetles.

People recreating in the vicinity of Forest Road 42 also are being asked to stay well away from logging equipment and stay out of marked closures.

C.R. 129 follows the Elk River for much of its length and is known locally as Elk River Road. It sees heavy passenger car traffic daily from people commuting to work in Steamboat and the thousands of campers who visit Steamboat Lake State Park each summer. It also is popular with cyclists.

Voos also wants Routt County residents to be aware that a separate logging operation targeting roadside hazard trees will cause the closure of the last mile of Forest Service Road 315 on Rabbit Ears Pass beginning this week and continuing for two weeks.

Forest Road 315 links the Dumont Lake recreation area to the popular Rabbit Ears trailhead, which is used by mountain bikers and hikers headed for Fishhook Lake and beyond. Voos said access to Dumont Lake will not be affected by that work.

Deputy Forest Supervisor Jeff Stoney wrote in a letter sent to prospective bidders for the Larson II timber sale that the harvest will comprise primarily living and dead lodgepole pine trees, but also live and dead Engelmann spruce and living subalpine fir trees. All told, the harvest is estimated to total 4,700 CCF of lumber. The timber measurement CCF stands for hundred cubic feet. About two CCFs are contained within 1,000 board feet.

Voos said up-to-date information about logging operations is available by calling the Hahn’s Peak Ranger District in Steamboat Springs at 970-870-2299, or go online to http://www.fs.usda.gov/news/mbr/news-events

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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