San Juan National Forest

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    Photos courtesy Gretchen Fitzgerald

    The San Juan National Forest is working to return clearcut areas to a forested condition by contracting to plant 70,000 Engelmann spruce trees across 175 acres on Wolf Creek Pass. In the late 1950s, spruce logs were harvested from the area. In those days, the preferred method of harvest was to clear-cut the spruce. Young residual trees were left to grow or the area was planted with bare-root seedlings. Spruce beetle have killed most of the older overstory trees and left a young forest with many future openings. The San Juan National Forest also has a couple of small salvage sales being cut in the area. After the dead trees are removed, foresters will evaluate the area to see if further reforestation efforts are needed.