SAGUACHE, Colo. – Saguache District Ranger Tristram Post recently signed the decision notice approving the Full Tilt Spruce Beetle Salvage project.
“The Full Tilt Spruce Beetle Salvage project received a thorough environmental analysis that indicated the project would pose no significant impact to the land and water resources,” said Post. “This project will provide economic benefit by employing logging operators and utilizing the beetle-killed spruce while they still have commercial value.”
Approximately 12,000 CCF (centum cubic feet) of dead and dying spruce trees will be harvested from 1,100 acres of forest land located in the Sargent’s Mesa area, 18 miles northwest of Saguache. Spruce seedlings will be planted in areas without adequate natural regeneration following the timber salvage and up to four miles of gated roads will be decommissioned once all the management activities have been completed.
The District expects the project to be offered for bid in early 2017.
Aerial surveys conducted in 2015 determined more than 588,000 acres of the Rio Grande National Forest has been infested by spruce beetles since 2002. The spruce beetle primarily attacks Engelmann spruce trees in this area, although some Colorado blue spruce have also been infested.
The Rio Grande National Forest offers several salvage projects in beetle-killed areas every year in order to use the dead trees for commercial sawtimber. As is planned with the Full Tilt project, seedlings are planted following harvest activities in areas without adequate natural regeneration in order to provide a “jump-start” for the next forest.
For more information concerning the Full Tilt Spruce Beetle Salvage project, contact the Saguache Ranger District at 719-655-2547.