Green Canyon composite

This composite photograph compares the prevalence of juniper in Green Canyon. On top is a USU Special Collections photo from 1935. On bottom is a photo from roughly the same spot taken by the Forest Service in 2017.

The Logan Ranger District will be burning slash piles in Green Canyon starting Thursday and likely continuing for several weeks.

“The only time we’ll be burning is when we get pretty good smoke dispersal,” said Toby Weed with the U.S. Forest Service.

People in the mouth of Green Canyon or in the nearby areas of North Logan may notice a little smoke from the juniper slash piles, especially in the early morning or evening, Weed said, but it wouldn’t be comparable to a large-scale wildfire and they won’t be burning during inversion conditions.

The main impact from the burns would be periodic road and trail closures for up to a few hours at a time, Weed said.

The slash piles have been drying out in Green Canyon since last year, when crews thinned juniper as part of the Three Canyons habitat restoration project in Green, Providence and Logan Dry canyons.

“The primary objective for this project is to improve mule deer habitat,” the Forest Service stated in a news release. “Green Canyon is a municipal watershed, so establishing grass, forbs and shrubs will reduce nutrient and sediment loading, thereby improving water quality.”

The project should also increase the water available for other plants, since juniper’s root networks can use up to 100 gallons of water a day.

Juniper has proliferated in Green and other local canyons due to drought, wildfire exclusion and the introduction of non-native plants.

“It’d probably take us a little while to completely get rid of them, but it should be really nice up there when those are gone,” Weed said. “And it will be really good habitat for the mule deer.”

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