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US Forest Service Discusses Cleanup Plan For Wind Damaged Areas

Adam LaDell, the District Ranger for the Carson National Forest spent time on Tuesday addressing the public in regard to the cleanup effort for areas damaged by the December 2021, windstorm that wreaked havoc and toppled thousands of trees in the Red River area.

According to LaDell, over 5,000 acres were affected and are in need of cleanup and remediation.

LaDell stated that funds for the cleanup are available and will most likely be completed by outside contractors from the Pacific Northwest as our local region lacks the infrastructure and equipment to handle such a large timber project. Contractors from the Northwest States have already been on the ground assisting with the needs of the Calf Canyon fire and have shown a willingness to assist with the wind damage cleanup.

Cleanup will consist of removing downed trees and the replanting of multiple native species. The cleanup will take time due to the need to acquire necessary approvals and mobilize resources. Cleanup in some of the areas will begin immediately while other areas may take multiple years to complete.

The first area to receive assistance will be the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area due to the fact that the wind damage it sustained will have a negative economic impact on the community if it is unable to open for the coming ski season. LaDell plans on hiring a local contractor as soon as possible to clear trails within the ski area to ensure it is able to open on time.

LaDell indicated that he will hold a monthly meeting in order to keep everyone updated.

- Rob Swan

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