Forest health plan unveiled for White River National Forest around Aspen, elsewhere

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The White River National Forest announced plans Tuesday for a forest-wide vegetation management project that includes the area surrounding the Roaring Fork Valley.

The project is designed to maintain existing critical fuel breaks and treatment areas adjacent to communities, and to improve forest health in areas affected by the mountain pine beetle. A maximum of 1,000 acres of vegetation management will be conducted annually. The project will extend through Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield, Summit, Mesa and Rio Blanco counties.

“In response to the mountain pine beetle epidemic, the White River National Forest has worked aggressively to reduce fuel concentrations in critical areas adjacent to communities and to promote the regeneration of lodgepole pine.” White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said in a prepared statement. “However, we now have previously-treated areas across the Forest that have regrown and are overly-dense and need maintenance to continue to be effective in the event