Outdoor Briefs

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2001

National forest still closed to snowmachines

Chugach National Forest lands are still closed to motorized use. A snow depth of 24 inches in Turnagain Pass is inadequate to prevent resource damage.

The normal opening date for snowmachining on the Chugach is Dec. 1, but lack of adequate snow has delayed the opening.

Law enforcement agents are out and will be issuing tickets to riders in violation. People interested in snowmachining on national forest lands can check the Forest Service Web site at www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach for the latest information on openings and closings.

The restrictions are in place for resource protection and the safety of all users. Any questions can be directed to Forest Service offices in Seward (224-3374), Girdwood (783-3242) or Anchorage (271-2500).

Refuge, forest now open for tree cutting

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and parts of the Chugach National Forest are now open for cutting Christmas trees.

Guidelines for cutting on the refuge include: Trees are free for personal use with a limit of one per household. Trees may be taken anywhere on the refuge, except within 150 feet of a road, lake, stream, trail, campground or picnic area. No tree cutting is allowed in the refuge headquarters-visitor center area or along Ski Hill Road.

The public is requested to trim the stumps as close to the ground

as possible for aesthetic reasons. Contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on Ski Hill Road in Soldotna for further details.

Guidelines for cutting in the Chugach include: The area open for Christmas tree cutting starts at Mile 6.5 after Bertha Creek Campground just beyond the Turnagain Pass rest area.

There are private or timber sale lands nearby, so all cutters are asked to stay on Forest Service land. Only one tree is allowed per family. Topping trees is prohibited. All cutting must be 450 feet away from any roads, trails, trail heads, campgrounds and bodies of water. Stumps must be cut low to the ground, and all debris must be removed from roads and trails. Cutters are asked to select trees so that other trees remain within 12 to 15 feet surrounding the cut tree.

Areas not open to cutting include Portage Valley, Turnagain Pass, Moose Pass and Cooper Landing. For more information, call (907) 271-2500.

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