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Removal of unstable trees to cause temporary closures

The Pagosa Ranger District will be removing diseased trees from the Treasure Falls Observation Site and the West Fork Trailhead in October, resulting in temporary closures for motorists and National Forest visitors.

Hazardous conditions have been created by an outbreak of an infectious tree disease known as Armillaria, which causes trees to become unstable and subject to failure. ?To protect the public during felling and removal operations, the Treasure Falls parking area, restroom and trail on U.S. 160 at the base of Wolf Creek Pass will be temporarily closed to the public from Tuesday, Oct. 12, to Saturday, Oct.16. Helicopters will be used to lift the felled trees over the highway, and they will be deposited nearby at the West Fork Trailhead. ?During this time, motorists will experience intermittent traffic delays on the adjacent section of U.S. 160 when helicopters pass overhead. ?Access to the West Fork Trailhead will also be temporarily blocked during operations.

The following week, the West Fork Trailhead and West Fork Road (Forest Road 648) will again be closed intermittently from Monday, Oct. 18, through Monday, Oct. 25, to allow for removal of hazardous trees at the West Fork Trailhead. ?Temporary delays may be up to 30 minutes. ?During that week, the West Fork Trailhead parking area will be closed for one full day during the felling operations. ?

For more information contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268.