The White River National Forest has closed the Yeoman Park Campground in Eagle County (Colorado) to remove 127 hazard trees beginning next week with hopes of reopening at least portions of the campground later this summer.
The campground was closed from July 2021 after a number of rotting trees that might fall around campsites were discovered, according to a press release.
“After we had several trees fall in the campground showing this internal rot, including one that fell across a vacant tent pad, we inventoried all the trees within the campground and discovered a large number had the same problem,” said Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Leanne Veldhuis.
Awarded a 2022 grant from the National Forest Foundation’s Ski Conservation Fund, local operator Beetle Kill Tree Guys will use sawyers and heavy equipment to cut and remove the trees and associated slash.
“This partnership with the National Forest Foundation is allowing us to get the hazard trees removed and the campground reopened much sooner than we could on our own,” Veldhuis said.
According to the release, the affected campground trees show damage from hatchets, spikes, and nails. The resulting wounds allow fungus and other pathogens to enter and infect the tree, leading to the rot and eventual removal of the tree.
“It’s a great reminder to avoid damaging trees, especially in popular areas like campgrounds, trailheads, and overlooks,” Veldhuis said.
Both loops in the campground will remain closed to the public until work is achieved and the campground is re-inspected. The western side of the Will Brown Trail is also closed because it enters the campground.
Featured image courtesy of White River National Forest.