Helicopter logging ends, but more thinning continues in watershed

A helicopter that has been flying logs off steep slopes in the Ashland watershed during the past month has finished work, but many popular trails in the area remain closed by ongoing tree thinning efforts and log truck traffic.

Forest Service Road 2060 from its intersection with Granite Street to above the Horn Gap area remains closed on weekdays, as do Horn Gap, Ostrich Peak, and Mystical trails, according to a project update released today by Ashland Forest Resiliency officials.

The parking area past the end of Granite Street is now open, but users can only access the trail along Ashland Creek from there, the release said.

Upper Missing Links and No Candies trails remain closed on weekdays and weekends.

Hitt Road Trail will be open from Strawberry Lane to where it is gated before a large clearing as it transitions to Forest Service Road 300. The section of the road beyond the gate is closed to its intersection with the 2060 road.

Signs are posted in the area to notify trail users where closures begin.

Log truck traffic will continue to be heavy on Granite Street through the end of the year. The trucks will carry logs through town and ultimately to Murphy Veneer in White City. As many as 20 to 25 truckloads will come through town per day.

The project's purpose is to thin trees from the area to decrease wildfire hazards to homes around Ashland. Project officials said they plan to do work on 7,600 acres over 10 years.

For more information, visit www.ashlandwatershed.org.

— Sam Wheeler

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