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Coconino National Forest Takes Action to Reduce Wildfires, Flooding

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Logging operations for two timber contracts have begun in popular areas north of Flagstaff, which will greatly reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and benefit forest health by thinning overstocked stands of dense pine and mixed conifer growth around Flagstaff.

The Dry Lake Hills contract, part of the second phase of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project, began this week near Schultz Pass Road (Forest Road 420) in the Dry Lake Hills area, approximately 5 miles north of downtown Flagstaff. The strategic thinning of this area will help reduce the wildfire risk and subsequent flooding that could occur in Flagstaff.

Operations will involve heavy machinery and log truck traffic along portions of Schultz Pass Road, where most of the logs and slash will be hauled to a staging area near the junction of FR 420 and 556. The project is expected to be completed in fall 2023.

The Little Springs project is located 13 miles north of Flagstaff near the junction of FR 151 and 418. Under a Good Neighbor Authority agreement and in partnership with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, thinning operations in this area will benefit the forest ecosystem by reducing tree densities in overstocked stands of pine and mixed conifer.

This project will help reduce severe wildfire risk to the community of White Horse Park and the San Francisco Peaks and is expected to be completed in February 2024.

Logging operations will involve heavy machinery and log truck traffic along FR 418 and 151, and U.S. Highway 180, with trucks entering and exiting the north entrance of FR 151. Appropriate signage will be displayed to alert the public when entering the area of operations. Minor impacts to the Arizona Trail may occur.

Hikers, mountain bikers, and visitors to these areas should use caution and be aware of the heavy machinery and falling timber in the areas of operation. Both projects will pause operations from March 1 to Aug. 30 due to seasonal restrictions.

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