Managers of the Boise National Forest say one small section of their jurisdiction is in crisis. But that small section is the Bogus Basin Resort, which means addressing this crisis is urgent and difficult.
Stephaney Kerley is on a P.R. tour of sorts. The Boise National Forest ranger is trying to get public support for a plan to log and replant Bogus Basin over several years. Kerley says most of the trees on Bogus are dying from a combined attack of a parasitic plant and tree-eating beetles. It would be replanted with tree species not susceptible to the dwarf mistletoe which is weakening the current ones.
“The worst case scenario is that we do nothing and we lose all of the trees and we just come out of it with brush fields,” Kerley says. “And without tree cover we don’t have snow retention.”
Forest officials have wanted to cut and replant the area for years as they’ve watched the health of the trees deteriorate. But Kerley says public opposition has prevented it from happening.
“Logging trucks will end up having to come down Bogus Basin Road if this project is going to be successful,” she says. “And that’s not really a very popular thing for people that live in urban areas.”
Bogus Basin Resort managers support the plan to try to save the forest on their mountain. The plan is also supported by the cities of Boise, Meridian and Eagle and by Governor Butch Otter. But getting public support is the next challenge.
Kerley says project managers will do everything they can to minimize disturbance from big trucks in residential areas, including restricting how many can be used and when they can travel. But she says summer recreation will be impacted. And increasing summer visits has been a key strategic focus for Bogus.
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