Objectives and Outcomes:
NRCS EQIP, Northern Water, Peaks To People
Wildfire Risk Mitigation, Wildlife Habitat Enhancement, Restored Forest Health, Improved Grazing, Community Protection, Water Infrastructure Protection
About this project:
This project was completed on the Cheley Camps of Colorado's main summer camp property. This camp hosts kids of all ages for a wide array of outdoor summer activities. The forest is composed of Lodgepole Pine, Douglas-Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Quacking Aspen. Historically, the site would have contained a larger proportion of Ponderosa and Aspen than current conditions allow. Due to modern-day fire suppression, the Lodgepole Pine and Douglas-Fir was enabled to encroach on the historical forest types and essentially take over. This site had a very high risk of a catastrophic wildfire occurrence.
The mechanical forest treatment completed on the Cheley Camp's property has benefited the entire Big Thompson watershed, including the town of Estes Park. By removing heavy fuel loads and working to bring the forest structure back to historic conditions, the Conservation District was able restore species composition and tree vigor, enhance wildlife habitat, and mitigate heavy fuels loads to reduce the risk of wildfire spread.
Return to historical species compositions
Reduced risk of catastrophic fire
Increase Aspen populations
Improved forage for animals such as elk and mule dear
Increase in understory biodiversity (forbs, grasses, and shrubs)
Increase in survival rates for Ponderosa Pine in future fires