Last updated 8:15PM ET
December 12, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Animas Mountain Fire Reduction Plan Presented
(2007-05-24)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: BLM and Forest Service officials are proposing three alternatives for reducing fuels on Animas City Mountain.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports:

VICTOR: The BLM and Forest Service first proposed in March to reduce fuels on 726 atop Animas City Mountain, just north of Durango.
The announced plans include a proposal to reconstruct the old road up Animas City Mountain to allow access for mowing and mulching equipment.
The plan drew an outcry from mountain users, which Project Manager and Assistant Fire Management Officer Craig Goodell says didn't come as a surprise.
GOODELL: YOU KNOW, THIS IS AN AREA WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE TO RECREATE IN. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE PUBLIC HAS TOLD US, BY AND LARGE PROBABLY 95-PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE WE HAVE TALKED TO OR PEOPLE THAT HAVE COMMENTED TO US THROUGH LETTERS HAVE AGREED THERE'S A NEED TO DO SOME HAZARD MITIGATION WITH THE FUELS UP THERE ON THE MOUNTAIN, AND THE MAJOR DISCUSSION POINTS HAVE BEEN WITH HOW WE'RE GOING TO DO THAT AND WHAT THE VISUAL EFFECTS MIGHT BE.
So, yesterday, Forest Service and BLM officials held an open house from noon to eight at the Rec Center.
Anyone who walked in could learn more about the three alternatives now on the table.
Those include mechanical mowing at a cost of 356-thousand dollars, hand thinning, at a cost of 772-thousand, or a combination, at a cost of about 455-thousand.
Scott Mathis of Durango was among those stopping by the open house yesterday.
MATHIS: CUZ I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN PRESERVING THE NATURE OF THAT AREA WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ADDRESSING THE FIRE RISK.
VICTOR: YOU FEEL ADDRESSING THE FIRE RISK IS VERY IMPORTANT THEN.
MATHIS: VERY HIGH PRIORITY, YES.
Clint McKnight also stopped by.
He had concerns about the project, but left satisfied.
MCKNIGHT: I HAD STRONG RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE USE OF HEAVY MACHINERY ON THE MOUNTAIN AND I GOT SOME REALLY INTERESTING INFORMATION THAT SEEMED VERY ACCURATE TO ME ABOUT HOW THEY ARE GOING TO MITIGATE SOME OF THOSE EFFORTS, AND THEY HAVE FUNDING TO MITIGATE IT, AND IT WILL BE FAIRLY CONFINED TO CERTAIN AREAS. SO I'M MORE, MORE ACCEPTING OF THE PROPOSAL AS I UNDERSTAND IT RIGHT NOW.
If you'd like to learn more about the Animas City Mountain project, you'll have more chances.
The Forest Service and BLM is sponsoring Field Trips to the site May 30th, June 2nd and June 9th.
You can sign up by calling the Columbine Public Lands office at 884-1430.
Comments on the plans will be taken until June 15th.
Goodell says work could begin sometime after October 1st and would probably continue, with a break during the winter, until early next fall.
Goodell says there's always a "do nothing option" that's available, but in his view that would be inadvisable.
GOODELL: IT'S LIKELY OVER TIME, THAT YOU'D HAVE A DEVASTATING WILDFIRE UP THERE THAT WOULD REMOVE ALL OF THE VEGETATION FROM THE MOUNTAIN, AND IT WOULD SURE CHANGE THE BEAUTY OF THE PLACE.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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