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Proposal Areas

Ptarmigan A

2,190 acres (3.4 square miles)

The proposed Ptarmigan A Addition is adjacent to the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Area and occupies the steep slopes between Silverthorne and the wilderness boundary. The elevation ranges from 9,300 feet to 11,500 feet, and is forested with aspens.

What’s special about it
Community access: This proposed wilderness addition would bring the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness boundary down to the back doors of residents in the Dillon/Silverthorne area providing immediate access to high quality quiet recreation opportunities.
Wildlife migration: It is part of a major big game migration corridor that crosses I-70 where it passes through Eisenhower Tunnel. Mule deer and elk use this area in the winter and it has the potential for wolverine habitat. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has identified this proposed Wilderness Area as an area of high habitat priority.

Potential threats

Logging: This area is experiencing the same pressure from the mountain pine beetle as much of Summit and Eagle Counties, and thus faces the same calls for salavage harvest of beetle-kill lodgepole pines. Logging would degrade the important ecological values of the area, particularly this vital wildlife migration corridor that has been cited by state and federal officials as an important linkage.

Division of Wildlife habitat qualities, species of significance

Ptarmigan Hill has areas of rolling valleys to very steep slopes and high ridges containing spruce fir, high alpine meadows (tundra), mountain shrub, aspen, lodgepole pine, and grassland meadows. The area supports abundant wildlife; elk, deer, black bear, mountain lion, ptarmigan, blue grouse, pine marten, boreal toad, snowshoe hare and lynx. Due to its high elevation winter wildlife use is limited to pine marten, ptarmigan, blue grouse, snowshoe hare and lynx. The southern and western edges of the area do contain some elk winter range. In the summer the area provides high quality elk habitat: summer concentration areas, summer range, production areas, and migration corridors.
Lynx have been documented in the here, a value underscored by the Forest Service management prescriptions 5.5 is forested landscape linkages. The area does not have any system roads within its borders but there are several system hiking trails.

Outreach results
The boundaries for this proposal area have been modified to allow continued use of a popular bicycle trail; ensure community safety from wildfire; ensure continued operation of municipal water supply and facilities; and facilitate access for maintenance of a major highway tunnel.

Other info
There is an active cattle allotment within the proposed Ptarmigan Wilderness Area. This landscape is part of a 50,114 acre (78.2 square mile) roadless complex that consists of the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Area, the Williams Fork Roadless Area (on the Routt National Forest), and the Ute Pass/Acorn Creek Roadless areas.

How to get there
The proposed Ptarmigan A Addition to the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Area is located immediately NE of Silverthorne at the south end of the Williams Fork Mountains.

  • The Ptarmigan Trail (69) begins in Silverthorne, and passes through this area on its way to the Williams Fork ridge in the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Area.
  • The unit can be also be accessed from the north by Bushee Creek Road (FS 1908).
  • The USGS 7 1/2' quad for the proposed Ptarmigan Wilderness Area is Dillon.