Forest Health and Fuels Reduction Project
Basin Recreation continues final year of project to promote forest health and reduce fuel loads
A public meeting and site visit will be held on August 23, 2021, at 5:30pm MST at the Matterhorn Terrace (Over Easy Trail) parking area in Summit Park to discuss Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District’s (the “District”) plans to continue the forest health and fuels reduction project in the Summit Park area that was started in 2020. The site visit will include a moderately difficult hike to review project plans for 2021. All abilities are welcome, and participants can shorten the hike by turning around at any time.
The project area consists of forested montane woodlands within the Wildland Urban Interface (“WUI”) area of the Summit Park, Timberline, and Pinebrook neighborhoods. Importantly, the area contains 1,000+ residential structures and is a popular recreation hub frequented by mountain bikers, hikers, and wildlife viewers. The project is anticipated to treat approximately 200 acres in 2021 and has been funded in part by $150,000 in generous grant funds provided by the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative and the Utah Department of Water Quality.
As good stewards of public land and as good neighbors to the residents of the adjacent WUI area, the District seeks to proactively and responsibly manage its open space with public safety, habitat restoration, and asset protection in mind. As we have seen recently, wildfire is a factor that must be considered in our management of this area. While no practice will completely eliminate wildfire risk, active forest management can reduce fire intensity, rate of spread, and the risk to adjoining private structures. Overall, the reduction of fire risk protects forest resources for continued ecological function and public enjoyment.
The primary objective of this project is to improve forest health and mitigate hazardous fuels by patch-cutting, selectively thinning, and removing ladder fuels and brush within Summit Park and Toll Canyon Open Spaces, which are both protected by conservation easements. The project will be completed by qualified and experienced forestry contractors. The forest treatment guidelines have been prescribed in partnership with representatives from the Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands and the Division of Wildlife Resources. In addition to forest health and fuels reduction, the project considerations have included, but are not limited to, wildlife, migratory birds, cultural resources, noxious weed populations, and avalanche prone areas.
The public should expect full closure of the Summit Park trail system and open space areas from August 28 though September 4, 2021. Closure information and project details can be found on the project website.
Additionally, the District, in partnership with the Summit Park HOA, Summit County, and the Park City Fire Department, invites homeowners to actively manage their own properties in order to extend the reach and impact of the treatment. Homeowners are encouraged to contact Mike Quinones, Summit Park HOA-Fire and Safety Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like more information about this topic, please email Open Space Supervisor, Matthew Benge at email@example.com.