A pile of timber lies near Reinheimer Ranch south of Ketchum, the result of an ongoing tree-clearing project on Bald Mountain coordinated by Sun Valley Resort, the U.S. Forest Service and the Idaho Bureau of Land Management. The project—part of the nationwide Healthy Forest Initiative—is intended to improve general forest health, reduce wildfire risk and improve glade skiing. The timber harvested is a mix of Rocky Mountain fir, Douglas fir and lodgepole pine, according to Peter Stearns, director of mountain operations for Sun Valley Resort. No whitebark pines were logged. “It’s important to note that what we’ve done with these particular stands are well-thought-out, and based on forest composition,” he said. “We’re certainly cognizant of protected species.” Stearns said much of the timber has been sold, and “a fair bit” of the trees had been affected by beetles.

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