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Coconino National Forest evaluating proposal to remove dead trees along Hwy 89 in Pipeline, Tunnel Fire burn areas

Tunnel Fire Snake
Ryan Heinsius/KNAU
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A snake curls up underneath a charred chunk of bone near U.S. Highway 89 in the Tunnel Fire burn area on April 26, 2022. The blackened remains of a large animal sat a few yards away amid the burned landscape.

The Coconino National Forest is evaluating a proposal that would remove more than 1,600 dead and dying trees along Highway 89 in the burn areas of the recent Pipeline and Tunnel Fires.

The proposal would allow the Arizona Department of Transportation the use of heavy equipment to cut and remove the dead and dying trees.

Officials say they’re hazardous to public safety because they’re located within falling distance of the roadway. ADOT says an average of 8,000 vehicles travel north on Highway 89 daily.

The trees would be removed and disposed of mainly via chipping and scattering.

More information about the project proposal can be found on the Coconino NF’s website “Managing the Land” projects page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=62526

The Coconino NF is soliciting input on the ADOT proposal. Written comments may be submitted via email to comments-southwestern-coconino@usda.gov by July 28 for consideration. All comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comments, will be considered as part of the public record for this project and will be made available for public inspection.