Mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems
By Reghan Cloudman
Public Affairs Specialist
Help NFN Grow
The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests was awarded one of 13 U.S. Department of Agriculture Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Award in an effort to mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems on both public and private lands. These projects are collaborative efforts coordinated by the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the U.S. Forest Service that focus on areas where public lands intersect with privately-owned lands to address forest restoration at a landscape scale.
The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests’ Northern Front Range Collaborative Watershed Resilience Project will create a more resilient landscape across both public and private lands to reduce the detrimental effects of wildfire to infrastructure and watersheds, while engaging with 15 partner organizations. The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests received $888,110 and the Natural Resource Conservation Service received $1,676,390 for this project this year. This is a three-year project, funded annually, to implement specific conservation efforts that restore watershed conditions, support habitat for wildlife, enhance streams and manage invasive plant species.
“This project is a great example of collaboration and landscape-scale efforts to improve forest health and reduce the impact of catastrophic wildfires,” Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland Forest Supervisor Monte Williams said. “We have amazing partnerships here and this project will build upon those with our colleagues at the Natural Resource Conservation Service.”
During the three-year project, landowners will work with the local USDA managers and partners to apply targeted forestry management practices on their land, such as thinning, hazardous fuels treatments, fire breaks and other systems to meet unique forestry challenges in northern Colorado. The Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership enables the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Forest Service to leverage technical and financial assistance collaboratively to help reduce wildfire threats, protect water quality and supply, and improve wildlife habitat.
On the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests work is already taking place and includes prescribed fire preparation, implementation, and monitoring; Forest Service Road reconstruction; weed treatments; and decommissioning of illegal routes all in an effort to and improve water quality and restore forest health. Specific prescribed burns included in this effort are Red Feather North, Elkhorn-Pingree Hill and Magic Feather. This project will allow the Natural Resource Conservation Service to work with a dozen landowners to implement forest restoration work on approximately 1,400 acres.