WILLIAMS – Tree removal has begun in a timber sale area on the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest located just north of Parks, Ariz., and will continue through at least the end of November.
The Wright Hill timber sale area, which is about 2,300 acres in size, is bounded to the south by the El Paso Gas Pipeline, to the west by Forest Road (FR) 76, to the north by FR 785B, and to the east by Spring Valley Road.
Objectives of the timber sale include reducing tree densities in the wildland/urban interface, which is the area where forest and communities meet, in order to lower wildfire risk; improving wildlife habitat and diversity; reducing infection levels of dwarf mistletoe, which is a parasitic plant that can severely damage tree health and vigor; improving understory conditions; restoring historic grasslands and savannahs; and, enhancing overall forest health.
High Desert Investments is the contractor performing the tree removal and hauling work. Residents and visitors can expect to see heavy equipment and workers in the timber sale area and along haul routes. Specifically, material will be driven on FR 58 and FR 785B east to Spring Valley Road and then south to old Route 66 and Interstate 40. Safety signs have been posted in the area to inform members of the public about the operations. Up to 10 truckloads of material may be hauled daily between Monday and Friday. No operations are expected on weekends. Workers may also be traveling to and from West Triangle Pit occasionally to haul cinders.
Members of the public are urged to use extreme caution near timber removal and hauling operations. Besides the presence of heavy equipment and log trucks, there will also be trees being felled and stacked into log decks, which can be unstable. Visitors to the area should not cut firewood from the log decks nor climb on them at any time due to the possibility of collapse.
The Wright Hill timber sale is part of the larger Spring Valley Urban/Wildland Interface Fuels Reduction Project intended to improve forest health and reduce wildfire potential in the greater Parks area.