LA MANGA PASS, Colo. - The Conejos Peak Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest is seeking input on two proposed timber salvage projects located about 21 miles west of Antonito near La Manga Pass.

The De Herrera Lake and Cow Camp Salvage Projects would allow harvesting of beetle-killed spruce trees. Each project would be 250 acres or less in size and each would require less than one-half mile of temporary road construction. Seedlings would be planted following timber harvest activities in areas without adequate natural regeneration.

An estimated 126,000 acres of spruce forests on the Conejos Peak RD have been infested by spruce beetles. Most of the Engelmann spruce trees larger than five inches in diameter have died in areas that were first infested by the spruce beetles in the early 2000s. Areas that have been infested more recently still have green trees, but most of these are also expected to succumb to the beetles.

Written facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning these actions will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the project legal notice in the Valley Courier (expected Wednesday, June 22). Submit written comments specifying which project you are commenting on to the Conejos Peak Ranger District at 15571 County Rd T.5 La Jara, Co 81140, Attention: Andrea Jones.

Comments submitted by facsimile should be sent to 719-274-6301. Electronic comments may be submitted online using the “Comment on Project” option on the project webpage www.fs.usda.gov/projects/riogrande/landmanagement/projects or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information, contact Michael Tooley at 719-274-8971.