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Fire danger brings call for action on Pikes Peak
THE GAZETTE ^ | April 10, 2009 | R. SCOTT RAPPOLD

Posted on 04/12/2009 12:48:27 PM PDT by george76

The U.S. Forest Service wants to thin or burn 25,000 acres of overgrown forest on Pikes Peak and surrounding foothills, areas where fire suppression has created "unnatural forest conditions prime for catastrophic wildlfire," .

It would be the largest tree removal project on the peak since 1890s loggers left wide swaths of the mountain bare to meet the demands of Cripple Creek's gold rush.

Officials say thinning and burning is needed because a major fire on the peak would pose a threat to the lives and property of the many people who live adjacent to the peak's forests, Colorado Springs' water system, a tourism industry that depends on 500,000 visitors to the mountain each year and the nearby outdoor recreation that is the reason many people live here.

The Forest Service will hold an open house April 23, as part of an environmental assessment on the thinning project. Colorado Springs Utilities, which operates a network of reservoirs and pipelines and owns 15,000 acres on the peak, is also taking part.

It is unclear when the work would occur. The environmental review would last into 2010.

large parts of the peak have become overgrown because humans have suppressed fires that would otherwise clear foliage and keep stands of trees from becoming too dense.

"The result has been a transformation of forest stands moving from open park-like areas into more dense stands," the report said. Among the ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and Gambel oak, which make up most of the peak's forests between 6,000 and 10,000 feet of elevation, large fires historically occurred every 50 to 60 years, and smaller ones more frequently.

But after the area was logged in the late 19th century, fires have been suppressed.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Agriculture; Gardening; Outdoors; Society
KEYWORDS: colorado; fires; forestservice; loggers; pikespeak; wildlandfires; wildlfire; wildlfires

1 posted on 04/12/2009 12:48:28 PM PDT by george76
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To: george76

Pikes Peak. Fire in the Heavens

2 posted on 04/12/2009 1:12:20 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: george76

A place everyone should go at least once in their life

I remember the first time I went when little we saw
cars with “Pikes Peak or bust” written in the back window

We did it a coupla yrs ago on the Gold Wing,kinda scary

3 posted on 04/12/2009 1:59:16 PM PDT by Harold Shea (RVN `70 - `71)
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To: JoeProBono

I visited Colorado Springs on business in 1999. I was there for a month, so I had time to take the cogwheel train up to the peak. I was able to visit Cripple Creek as well.

I have some great pictures from the top.

4 posted on 04/12/2009 2:31:30 PM PDT by jimtorr
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To: george76

Well it’s about time they defueled the forests out here. A few years back there were, effectively, a couple of counties incinerated in those same forests adjoining Pikes Peak. The reason it happened was that the reflexive Greens couldn’t stand to have their precious forest temples “desecrated” by removing the fuel that had built up under the forest canopy. All it took was a psycho forest rangerette that decided she was going to ignite the whole shebang.

Very scary times. My children and I sat and watched at our house for a few days, and it came very close to coming over the last ridge and down onto the Front Range proper. A fellow I flew with gave me a call after piloting his Airbus past the south side of the smoke plume. He told me they were at 41,000 ft and the plume was “way above” him. It looked very “volcanic” from where we sat (clouds & lightning too). It even has its own name, pyrocumulus. You won’t forget it if you ever see it.

Do not ever trust contemporary conservationists to manage a forest. They will incinerate the forest, and kill you in the bargain. Much of Yellowstone was lost to this foolishness. Having policies set by urban environmentalists (city folks) is the reason we have the potential of losing significant areas of our national forests.

5 posted on 04/12/2009 3:30:43 PM PDT by Habibi ("We gladly feast on those who would subdue us". Not just pretty words........)
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To: george76; Rurudyne; steelyourfaith; Tolerance Sucks Rocks; xcamel

Golly, gotta be due to global warming. /sarc

6 posted on 04/12/2009 5:12:15 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Habibi; forester; SierraWasp; jazusamo; girlangler; rellimpank; moondoggie; MtnClimber

Terry Barton cleared away lots of dead brush and trees .

Also many healthy trees and peoples’ homes.

Finally, the real foresters are making some progress across the state.

7 posted on 04/12/2009 5:36:20 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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