Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion
The Devil’s Creek Trail in Chugach National Forest, seen June 15, 2018.

Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion The Devil’s Creek Trail in Chugach National Forest, seen June 15, 2018.

Devil’s Creek Trailhead to close for beetle kill mitigation

The spruce beetle outbreak has led to a significant number of dead or dying spruce trees around the trailhead

The Devil’s Creek Trailhead, located close to Cooper Landing on the Sterling Highway, will be closed starting Monday while work crews mitigate risks posed by trees killed by spruce beetles.

According to a press release from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the spruce beetle outbreak has led to a significant number of dead or dying spruce trees around the trailhead. A forest health survey found that more than 85% of the trees in the area are impacted.

“Wide-scale tree mortality is present in the area and poses an immediate danger to the health and safety of forest users,” the release says.

At the trailhead, 17 acres will be closed, with the service estimating the work to take five weeks to complete. The area will be closed because heavy machinery will be in use, the release says. Closure will be in effect from April 17 until May 21.

For more information about Forest Service-managed areas in the Chugach National Forest, including closures, visit fs.usda.gov/recarea/chugach.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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