Cheyenne, WY – The Medicine Bow National Forest has
reduced the amount of clear-cutting it has planned for the southwestern area of the forest.
The Forest Service had originally proposed clear-cutting just over 550 acres in the Devil's Gate area. But now the agency has reduced the proposed area to about 280 acres.
The agency also has decided not to allow cutting in important elk and deer winter range.
It made the changes in response to comments from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and from a local conservation group.
Clint Kyhl is Laramie district ranger. He says the agency is concerned that thousands of acres of trees killed by beetles have increased the risk of catastrophic fires in the area.
Kyhl says that he's ordered loggers to cut only trees larger than 8-inches diameter on 165 acres. He says the larger trees are likely to be killed by beetles in the next few years.