The Community, Fuel Treatment and Industry Nexus in Colorado

Photo by Matt Stensland

I thought it was interesting that while we were discussing the 78 acres of WUI fuel treatments in roadless on the Umpqua, the Denver Post published this article this morning.

In addition, regional foresters are planning to remove dead trees from another 33,224 acres the next year, he said.

One challenge facing contractors is getting rid of the cut trees. Timber mills in Montrose and the San Luis Valley and a pellet factory in Kremmling have been hard-pressed to pay loggers enough to make that tree-removal work profitable.

Forest Service contracting officials say they pay around $1,200 per acre for selective removal of dead trees.

As firefighters on Wednesday worked to shore up lines around the wildfire west of Fraser, Town Manager Jeff Durbin said he and other local leaders are looking to meet with Forest Service officials.

Federal land managers haven’t removed enough of the beetle-kill trees that pose threats, Durbin said.

“Wildfire mitigation is really important business,” and this week’s fire heightened concerns about intense fires spreading from federal land, he said.

“You could see, from town, the flames. It was frightening.”

1 thought on “The Community, Fuel Treatment and Industry Nexus in Colorado”

  1. $1200/acre?? 15 years ago, when there was an OSB mill in Kremmling (30 miles from Fraser), a sawmill in Walden (60 miles), the industry “paid” the USFS for the timber. But then it was decried as “below-cost-timber sales”. $1200/acre is what I really call below cost!

    It’s unfortunate that no one will write the history of the demise of the Colorado timber industry. It’s very difficult to find how many acres/haravested/year in the 80’s. But then, the time for pointing fingers is over-especially if you may have to point them at yourself..

    Colorado highlights the new enviro conundrum. The fly in the ointment isn’t gonna be litigation anymore. Time has passed the litigation issue by. The new and only buzz phrase will be “infrastructure” (i.e. how to attract it). How to gaurentee a 20 year supply. As we’ve seen in the 90’s-the USFS has a crappy track record on that. Did they even pay damages to the mills when the supply was cut off? Did they forfiet a bond? It doesn’t matter if litigation has stopped. All that matters is it could start at any time. Goodwill means nothing. Insurance means everything.


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