Phillips Ridge tree thinning

Tree-cutters whose chain-saw work is meant to make wildfires more manageable will be clearing out trees along the Phillips Ridge Trail this coming week, causing a temporary closure.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest said that the “fuels reduction” project will make the popular hiking and mountain biking trail off-limits to the general public from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and potentially longer.

“Visitors can expect crews working with chain saws, felling trees and stacking woody debris along the north end of the Trail moving south as the work progresses,” forest officials said in a statement.

“Visitors should respect temporary trail closures and refrain from entering into the work zone if these areas are posted ‘closed for safety,’ ” the statement said. “If you hear chain saws running, ensure you are not in the felling area or in harm’s way.”

The work is part of the Teton-to-Snake fuels reduction project, which will thin and burn thousands of acres of national forest stretching from Teton Village to the Snake River Canyon. The intention of the project is to make it easier for firefighters to defend private property along the “wildland-urban interface.”

Maps of the Phillips Ridge project will be posted at trailheads. For information, call Andy Hall at 739-5425.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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