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Pagosa Springs
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Fuels reduction work to begin in Turkey Springs and Devil Creek areas

By Lorena Williams | Forest Service 

The San Juan National Forest’s Pagosa Ranger District will conduct a hazardous fuels reduction project in the Turkey Springs and Devil Creek areas beginning approximately July 13. This project is dependent on the status of the Chris Mountain Fire.

 Large masticators will cut and shred shrubs and small-diameter trees on approximately 1,200 acres of national forest land to reduce ladder fuels and increase the spacing between the crowns of trees. This project is designed to reduce understory fuels, improve wildlife habitat and promote forest health by reducing competition for water and nutrients. This will reduce the risk of a wildfire transitioning from the surface to the crowns of trees and reduce risk to firefighters and the public. 

Some trails will require short-term closures during operations.

Trails affected:

• Catamount No. 13 from Turkey Springs Trail to Newt Jack Trail.

• Turkey Springs Trail — both motorized and nonmotorized.

• Trail No. 642 from the parking area on Piedra Road to Newt Jack Road No. 923.

• Gopher Trail No. 303 from Brockover Road to the fence line.

• Circle T ATV trail from Turkey Springs Road to the fence line. 

Signs will be posted at trailheads and on kiosks cautioning recreationists to avoid approaching equipment, which is capable of throwing material 300 feet or more. Trails will be reopened as soon as safely possible.

The San Juan National Forest received special funding for this project through the San Juan Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. The project may take up to four months to complete.

Please contact Pagosa District Assistant Fire Management Officer Fred Ellis at fred.ellis@usda.gov or (970) 264-1541 for additional information.

For information on current conditions and recreation opportunities on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874 or visit the forest website.

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