by Larry Patrick
HUERFANO- The U.S Forest Service officials of Huerfano County gave the Commissoners an update on a number of issues.
Jeff Crespin said a policy on handling some wildfires is being considered but has not yet been adopted. It would allow for lightning fires that are not near homes, to burn if they are of the ground fire variety. He said that these ground clearing fires can be beneficial to the environment in the back country areas.
Crespin said during the higher fire danger seasons, the policy would be to fight these kinds of blazes even in the remote areas. Again, the policy has not yet been adopted but is being discussed by forest service officials.
Discussion was also held with the County Commissioners on the ski area at Cuchara. Crespin said currently the Forest Service is not looking to re-issue a permit for the Cuchara Ski area if interested parties only want the winter activity. He said the Forest Service would be interested in a year round plan that included skiing. Currently the ski towers and chair lifts that are located on forest service land are still in place. A LaVeta/Cuchara group is interested in setting up a year round activity program. Steve Perkins, one of the organizers of the group said they have surveyed 430 people. The survey shows that people have a strong interest in a year round plan of activities and of those 430 people, they said they would donate money for the plan in the amount of $435,000. Perkins feels selling memberships to others would increase that amount for getting something done. Crespin of the Forest Service says he knows it takes some time to get a grassroots organization in place and would be willing to work with them. However, he said there is a company that may be willing to remove the ski towers and sell them.