The 177-acre Ramsay-Shockey Open Space, managed by the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, was purchased in 1997 to protect important wildlife habitat, provide a buffer to Pinewood Reservoir (an important water holding site), and expand recreational activities. This project covers approximately 70 acres across a cross section of the Ramsay Shockey Open Space and neighboring property owned by the Colorado State Land Board. A combination of fire exclusion, past logging, and grazing has caused an increase in forest density and an overall more uniform forest condition. These factors increase the susceptibility of the area’s ponderosa pine forests to large-scale disturbances including wildfires and insect and disease outbreaks. The health of this forest is crucial for the Reservoir and its downstream users including communities, utilities, breweries, and more.
Mechanical thinning operations were conducted on site in 2017 to reduce forest density and create a more natural open stand structure. Slash piles were burned to reduce fuels on the site. Secondary waste removal options were also explored. Data collected throughout this project will be used to inform future projects and support the development of the Watershed Investment Tool.
Peaks to People Water Fund, Larimer County, Colorado State Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy