Forest thinning to impact Pope-Baldwin bike path near South Lake Tahoe |

Forest thinning to impact Pope-Baldwin bike path near South Lake Tahoe

Efforts to reduce vegetation are slated to continue on National Forest lands near South Lake Tahoe, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The mechanical cut-to-length (CTL) tree removal started this week and will continue on approximately 100 acres near the Pope-Baldwin Bike Path bike path. It is expected to continue through mid-October, weather permitting.

Thinning will take place in Unit 156, which is located adjacent to Highway 89 and the path.

USFS expects to issue a forest order temporarily closing the bike path for approximately two weeks.

The Forest Service will post closure signs in the area and the forest order will be posted online at when it becomes available.

CTL thinning involves using a harvester to cut the tree down, remove the limbs and cut the tree into sections in the cutting area. For public safety, USFS advises people to avoid these areas due to the hazards posed by heavy equipment and falling trees. Hazards may be present even when operations have ceased for the day.

In addition to temporary disruption to recreational areas, other short-term impacts from forest thinning projects include changes to the appearance of forests, according to the Forest Service. Treated areas look disturbed at first, but recover visually within a few years.

Overall benefits to forests in treated areas include reducing excess trees and vegetation that can feed wildfires and providing the remaining trees with less competition for resources such as water, sunlight and nutrients, which allow the trees to grow larger and become more resistant to drought, insects and disease.

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