Aldefer Three Sisters Forest Health Project Information
BACKGROUND Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS) will be performing forest health work on approximately 240 acres of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests in Alderfer/Three Sisters Park. This work will begin in August 2023 and conclude in Spring 2024. This project was identified in the JCOS Forest Health Plan and will focus on reestablishing a healthy forest while reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire that could severely impact the natural environment and surrounding structures. It will also contribute to achieving our Conservation Greenprint goal for improving forest health on 1,000 acres of JCOS lands by the year 2025. This forest management work will include removing seedling, sapling, and larger trees to reduce overall density. In a short time, this area will show signs of a renewed, healthy forest with new growth including aspen trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers. This will create a healthier ecosystem that is more resilient to wildfire while reducing forest fuels adjacent to homes and structures. Some areas will become much more open as unnaturally dense pockets of trees are thinned. Under historic conditions, frequent low- to mixed-severity fires would remove most young conifers and some mature ones, as well as keep meadows free of young trees and enhance aspen regeneration. These activities are intended to mimic the natural processes of fire to restore these forests to a more healthy and resilient condition. While eliminating the risk of wildfire is not possible, this forestry work will slow the spread and reduce the severity of potential wildfire while protecting wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, neighboring communities, and ecological services throughout the area.
• Partial trail closures will occur all day Monday through Thursdays; specific locations will vary. Closures will be posted on site.
• Strict adherence to closures is required as equipment in use may cause flying debris and other safety hazards. Do not enter work zones or attempt to contact crews operating equipment.
• Some large trees will be removed in areas to create healthy, natural forest conditions.
• Vegetation recovery and noxious weed control will occur over several years. Boundaries and timeline are subject to change.
- Boundary and tree marking – Summer 2023
- Tree removal & slash management – August 2023 to Spring 2024
- Estimated project completion – Spring 2024
- Noxious weed and erosion control – Ongoing