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Working to keep the forest healthy at Bald Mountain

“This project, really if you break it down, it has 3 components, one is fuel reduction, 2 is forest health and resilience, and the third is a recreation component.”
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:51 AM MDT
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KETCHUM, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Dead and diseased trees have been overtaking Bald Mountain for many years. The National Forest Service, National Forest Foundation, and the Sun Valley Company have been working to help preserve the area by removing them.

“Reduction in fuel and forest health and resilience, and so in the long term, the overall goal is to have a more healthy and resilient forest hopefully through some of these treatments,” said Zach Poff with the Forest Service.

The task is more difficult than it may seem due to the steepness of the mountain.

“It changes due to the soils and type but here we are running about 75% to 80% slope that we can get on,” said Lee Miller with Miller Timber Service.

The project has been ongoing for years, but the necessity of it has been highlighted this year with the ongoing drought situation.

Dead trees catch on fire quicker and make the situation dangerous for firefighters.

“Most of this forest up here if you went to a hotshot crew or any crew, boss would tell you we are not going in there, we are going around the outside, so what’s going to happen is that fire is going to burn internally until the wind comes up or something and pushes it up until it can’t be caught,” said Miller.

They will complete close to 30 acres this summer and are grateful for the community’s support through the project.

“This project, really if you break it down, it has 3 components, one is fuel reduction, 2 is forest health and resilience, and the third is a recreation component, in this specific area,” said Poff.

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