Trail system, gravel pit planned for Jackson Mountain area

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By Scott Owen | Forest Service

The San Juan National Forest’s Pagosa Ranger District is conducting public scoping for the next 45 days and is inviting public input on several proposed projects in the Jackson Mountain area, northeast of Pagosa Springs. 

You can participate in the planning process by sharing suggestions for how to make the project better, specific concerns or information you may have about the project area. 

The public scoping period is open for 45 days with comments accepted until Feb. 23. An in-person public open house is planned for Feb. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center, South Conference Room, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. The open house will provide the public opportunities to ask questions, look at maps and talk with Forest Service resource specialists about the project. The open house is optional and is not the only way to provide comments to the San Juan National Forest.

The proposed project area is northeast of Pagosa Springs and north of the San Juan River Village subdivision in Archuleta County. The Forest Service is looking at projects in this area because Jackson Mountain is a hub of activity, with multiple forms of recreation and active vegetation treatments pointing to a need for a broadscale, landscape-level analysis to address future management goals and activities. Proposed activities include the creation of a sustainably designed trail system with up to 40 miles of mountain bike and multiuse trail options and the reconstruction and expansion of the existing Turkey Creek Trailhead. Additional parking areas, trailheads, toilets and signage are also being considered along the Jackson Mountain Road (FSR 037). Fuels reduction and vegetation management activities being considered include thinning, mowing, mastication and tree harvests. These activities are intended to help improve forest health and resiliency, reduce fuels and regenerate aspen stands currently in decline. Archuleta County has also expressed interest in opening a noncommercial gravel pit in the Jackson Mountain area to provide a local source of material for use on county and Forest Service Roads.

An Interactive StoryMap showing the location of the proposed trail system, areas being considered for fuels and vegetation management, and the proposed gravel pit, is available at https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/6501abb8bc454f9685f6d65803db78c5.

Maps and other information are also available on the project website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=61809

Electronic comments are preferred and can be submitted via an online comment form on the project website. Look under the “Get Connected” heading on the right-hand side of the page and click on “Comment/Object on Project.”

For more information about this proposal, please contact the following:

• Recreation — Paul Blackman, (970) 264-1505 or paul.blackman@usda.gov.

• Veg/fuels management — Adam Tlachac, (970) 264-1513 or adam.tlachac@usda.gov.

• Gravel Pit — Jamie Blair, (970) 560-6630 or james.blair2@usda.gov.

For more information about San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874. For information on current fire restrictions, conditions and recreation opportunities on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874.