Monday, March 12, 2012

Beloved Rocky

Some time in our beloved Rocky Mountain National Park was just what I needed yesterday so we drove to Many Parks Curve, the Alluvial Fan, and around the loop. The beautiful day added to our enjoyment but I love the park in any season, any weather, any time of day. The only wildlife we spotted was a herd of bachelor elk hanging out close to Sheep Lakes. A ranger was on the scene to keep foolhardy tourists from getting too close.

We're going to have to adjust to the big construction project along Bear Lake Road for the next two years but the work on the road will be a welcome improvement. Picnics at Sprague Lake will take some extra planning but I'm an inveterate planner, so no worries. We saw dozens of slash piles waiting for burning. A quote from the official RMNP web site explains:
Fire managers from Rocky Mountain National Park plan to take advantage of any upcoming winter weather conditions to burn piles of slash from several forest thinning and hazard tree mitigation projects. Exclusion of fire for the past century has resulted in unnatural forest conditions in some areas, with significant accumulations of forest fuels and an increased risk of a wildfire. In addition, park crews have been cutting hazard trees caused by beetle kill. There are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 piles park wide. If these are all burned, it will be roughly three times the number of piles that are normally burned in a year.

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