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Comment Archives: stories: Today

Re: “Stratton Open Space fire mitigation delayed after residents object to extreme treatment

Mitigation through selective thinning is an important tool in managing our public lands. The problem I see is that these public agencies that handle the process sometimes cut too deep. Rather than giving the forest a nice selective "trim," and perhaps thinking they might not get a chance (or the dollars) to thin again for another 25-50 years, they sometimes end up giving the forest more of a "buzz cut."

What I see in the slideshow pics looks fairly good. However, I cannot imagine what they were thinking in planning to thin such a lush riparian spring area (in that last 8 acres or so). Thinning across the landscape should not be universal. North slopes, for example, are expected to be more naturally lush. And while montane pine forests often saw natural underbrush clearing ground fires and are better candidates for manual selective thinning today, the subalpine spruce / fir forest instead experiences "stand replacing" fire events every 200-400 years, and thinning in the subalpine should be limited. Unfortunately sometimes this ends up not being the case.

In this case, kudos to the city for pulling back on thinning the Stratton Springs border. That appears to be the right call. There is balance to be found. We can both care for and protect the beauty of our public lands.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Zen on 05/24/2017 at 3:08 AM

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