Trails Temporarily Re-Open near Woodchute Trailhead on Mingus Mountain

During the month of April, a contractor used heavy equipment to thin trees on 41 acres of Prescott National Forest land on Mingus Mountain. The Butterfly Stewardship Project is located west of Highway 89A, along Forest Road 106 and near the Woodchute Wilderness trailhead.  It is important to note that the thinning operations are only occurring outside of the designated wilderness and no operations will occur within the Woodchute Wilderness.

Due to mechanical problems, all trees in the area have been cut but operations are currently on pause until repairs can been made and logs removed. The Forest Service has determined that while operations are on hold, it is safe to allow hikers into the area to access the Woodchute Wilderness Trailhead.  Hikers should be aware that there are still logs down in the area, but the trails are open and passable.

While roads and trails are open to access the area, camping within the closure area is still prohibited as logs are being staged at dispersed camping sites.

Recreation users are reminded to use their best judgement and to use caution when walking around felled logs on the ground as they can be unstable. Tampering with contractor equipment is prohibited and equipment is being monitored.

The contractor is expected to resume operations at the end of the May. At that time a press releases will be re-issued, and signs will again be posted in the area to make trail users aware of thinning operations.

The intent of the project is to improve the health and resiliency of fire-adapted ecosystems while reducing the risk of bark beetle outbreaks which are heavily impacting the forest.

Stay up to date on Prescott National Forest news by checking the Prescott NF website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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