mixed forest on a slope wiht a tall mountain in the background.

 

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. – The Woodland Park Field Office of the Colorado State Forest Service received a $1 million Landscape Resilience Investment grant through the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program (COSWAP) that will fund essential forest management activities near the North Catamount reservoir. This fuels treatment project known as the North Cat 2, will help shift the risk from catastrophic wildfire on the landscape, increase protection to vital drinking water supply and infrastructure, protect wildlife habitat and provide increased protection to communities adjacent to the North Catamount reservoir. Forest management activities and project work under this grant are slated for completion by 2025.

The Colorado legislature passed SB21-258 with bipartisan support in April 2021, funding the Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program, creating a fund to stimulate on-the-ground fuels reduction projects to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, increase the resilience of the State’s vast forested landscape and increase strategic forest management activities. The program has a targeted focus on funding projects which protect life property and critical infrastructure for the citizens of Colorado. The Colorado State Forest Service in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities Forest Management Division, U.S. Forest Service Pikes Peak Ranger District, Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and vital support from Teller County Commissioners, have all pledged their support for the completion of a 300-acre fuels management project on the north side of Pikes Peak. The grant award will fund North Cat 2, one of five projects in the area under a Good Neighbor Authority, Supplemental Project Agreement.

Without years of close coordination and collaboration by all the partners involved, this project would not have come to fruition. This project will inform and improve future adaptive forest management strategies regarding watershed management and watershed protection. The commitment to watershed protection and wildfire risk reduction through fuel treatment projects will benefit all the citizens of the Pikes Peak region and the state.

Contact Mike Till for more information.