Protecting Lynx and Wolverine Habitat in Central Colorado
The Tennessee Creek Project in Leadville, Colorado’s San Isabel National Forest authorizes 12,000 acres of logging (including more than 2,300 acres of clearcuts), more than 6,700 acres of prescribed fire, and 21.5 miles of road construction. The project area is home to both Canada lynx and wolverine, and is the site of an ongoing lynx study by Forest Service Wildlife Biologist John Squires. The Tennessee Pass area is an important lynx linkage area, critical to maintaining the territory size necessary for the species.
In authorizing this project, the Forest Service has refused to disclose where exactly it will be logging, but instead approved what it describes as a “worst-case” scenario for logging, and will map specific units to be logged during the implementation phase of the project. No public comment period, or opportunity to provide comments, will be provided as logging units are mapped.
The project area is also immediately adjacent to a number of wilderness and roadless areas, including the Mt. Massive Wilderness (home to Colorado’s second highest peak) and the Holy Cross Wilderness. Colorado’s highest peak, Mt. Elbert is just outside the project area, and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail runs through the project area.
WELC filed suit on April 21, 2015, challenging the Forest Service’s lack of consideration of this project’s impacts to Canada lynx, wolverine, wilderness values (quiet recreation), and mountain-pine beetle infestations under the National Environmental Policy Act and National Forest Management Act.
Take Action for Wildlife
The Forest Service is authorizing a 12,000-acre logging project in Colorado, including 2,370 acres of clear-cutting in the San Isabel National Forest. Lynx are known to live across 80 percent of the logging area. No public comment period will be provided when exact logging locations are revealed.