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Campground near Carbondale to be rebuilt
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed rebuilding virtually all of Avalanche Campground south of Carbondale, where most of the campsites were closed this year out of fear of falling trees.
The 13-site campground, 13 miles south of Carbondale, has long boasted a loop of 10 sites near Avalanche Creek in an area dominated by mature cottonwoods and old-growth spruce trees. Three overflow sites are located along Avalanche Creek Road (Forest Road 310), outside of the campground.
The Forest Service has periodically removed trees within the campground that were identified as possible hazards, but the action left other, healthy trees exposed to high winds, making them more vulnerable to falling, the agency said. Last May, a large, healthy tree snapped and fell on an unoccupied tent; no one was hurt.
Eight of the 10 sites on the loop were subsequently closed, leaving few spots for campers to use.
Making the sites in the riparian area safe would basically require clear-cutting the campground, according to Martha Moran, recreation staff supervisor with the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District.
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