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Ketchum, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Making sure trees are healthy for years to come. It's what the Sun Valley Company and the USDA Forest Service are teaming up to do on Sun Valley ski resort's Bald Mountain. Bald Mountain covers 3,332 acres. That area is covered with trees.
There will be less insect and disease infestation at this world famous ski terrain. The main culprits being the pine beetle and a disease called mistletoe. The forest thinning will improve forest health and growing conditions. It will enhance tree species diversity and in this incredibly dry season, it will reduce fuels for forest fires.
“It’s kind of a forest health issue, as well as a fuel treatments project where we’re trying to reduce the amount of ladder fuels that would cause fires, if fires get started, to be able to go up into the tree crowns and have crown fires,” said Kurt Nelson, Ketchum District Ranger for the Sawtooth National Forest.
The project is not only going to benefit the health of the trees. This winter, skiers and snowboarders can look forward to making some turns in these newly cleared out areas.
“One of the benefits for us skiers is that there’s going to be some great new glade skiing on Baldy this upcoming year, and this project is going to continue for the next 3-5 years,” said Jack Sibbach, Director of Marketing and PR for Sun Valley Resort.
In addition to opening up a new ski terrain, the outcome of the project will be long term forest health. One hundred and eighty two acres of timber will be treated over the next 3-5 year period. The project is being funded jointly by the US Forest Service and the Sun Valley Resort.