Local News

Work Resumes on Lost Driveway Project

May 02, 2016

Forest workers are back at the task of reducing hazard fuels on the Lost Driveway project in the upper Methow River Drainage, west of Winthrop, Washington. 

Contract crews are expected to finish work in most of the 3,000 acre project area by this fall and will accomplish the remaining 550 acres in 2017.  The Lost Driveway project includes thinning, pruning and hand-piling in the wildland urban interface on National Forest Lands that are adjacent to state or private property.  The fuel reduction activities work toward building resilience to wildfire disturbances in these fire suppressed forests.

“While thinning is ongoing, the units remain closed to firewood gathering, but once contract work is complete, the project area will be posted as open to firewood collection,” said Meg Trebon, Assistant Fire Manager for Fuels on the Methow Valley Ranger District.  “Individuals with firewood permits will then have access to the freshly- cut four-foot lengths of material created by thinning.  The existing downed trees and piles would not be available for firewood.”

“Those gathering firewood once the area has opened to that use will also need to be aware of land ownership. Some of the units in this project are only accessible from private lands, and adjacent landowners are the only ones who can give permission for people to cross their lands,” said Trebon.

Once thinning is completed, prescribed burning will be needed to complete the fuels reduction work.  Some piles burning could happen in the fall of this year and other prescribed burning would occur in 2017 once the thinning debris has cured.

The project is located within The Majestic Methow Treasured Landscape, one of 14 landscapes nation-wide that were selected by the National Forest Foundation for partnering with the Forest Service and local partners in restoration efforts.  The Treasured Landscape campaign supports a comprehensive restoration and community engagement strategy, including fish and wildlife habitat restoration, trail restoration and maintenance to support sustainable recreational use, forest restoration including fuels reduction, and the removal of invasive plants.

For more information, please contact Meg at the Methow Valley Ranger District at 509-996-4032.


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