Pike National Forest mitigation angers those living nearby

DIVIDE, Colo. — Acres of trees are being cut down in the Divide area, with some of it happening in the Pike National Forest.

Off County Road 51, people nearby are wondering why this is happening, saying they’re seeing trees being cut down left and right.

We found out it’s all part of the Pikes Peak Ranger District’s timber-related work.

It’s all been happening since winter and according to the U.S. Forest Service it’s being done to help restore landscape and reduce fuels along the entire front range of Colorado.

“There’s no trees that are marked saying this is pine beetle kill, there’s no indication that these are dead trees or soon to be dead trees,” said Patty Northern, who lives in the area.

According to the Forest Service, the trees were cut down to give healthier trees a fighting chance against bug infestations and wildfires.

“I know that the season is dry, I know that we haven’t had the rain, I know it’s going to be fire hazards and everything, but this again doesn’t appear to me, to be fire hazard,” said nearby resident Erin Kunitz.

Though the area may look untidy now, the Forest Service says it’ll drastically improve over time, saying healthy trees are more likely to withstand the environment.

What’s left over will serve a purpose, though. Most of the forest products are going to local mills along the southern front range.

The Forest Service says it’s important for people in the area to know this process is making their forests healthier, reiterating it’s essential for them to remove trees that are susceptible to wildfires or bug infestations.

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