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English Point Forest Health project continues

| November 22, 2021 1:00 AM

COEUR d'ALENE — Landing piles will be burned at English Point in the coming weeks as part of the next phase of the English Point Forest Health project.

"While every effort will be made to minimize smoke impacts, area residents will likely see localized and short-term smoke," according to a press release from the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

The project seeks to improve forest health in and around the popular hiking area by reducing fuel loading to mitigate wildfire danger and by thinning to improve species and age class diversity, the release said. The project also includes work to improve hiking trails and boardwalks.

Depending on conditions, several methods may be used to dispose of slash, including grinding, burning landing piles, and breaking piles down into smaller units to manage smoke.

"The slash removal step is critical to reducing wildfire risk, removing unsightly piles on the trail system, and preparing the area for planting," the release said.

The English Point trail system, a 358-acre recreation site near Hayden Lake, is managed by the Idaho Panhandle National Forests’ Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District.

Area residents noticed the tree removal going on. Many supported the project.

“I applaud and am in full support of the work that has already been done — it feels like a park setting with the removal of diseased and wind fallen trees,” wrote Rosie Leake.

Fire managers will be timing any prescribed fire activity during burn windows conducive to consumption and smoke dispersion.

English Point remains open, but visitors are asked to avoid areas of active burning or equipment operations.

The area provides nearly 9 miles of trails and is popular for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and winter snowshoeing.

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