Colorful Colorado, we all have our reasons for loving this beautiful place we call home. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast whose passion is to play in the mountains or someone who prefers the culture and comforts of the city, we love it just the same. We are Coloradans and we all depend on the health of our forests and the water they provide for us. Peaks to People is dedicated to reducing the risk wildfire poses to the wellbeing of our communities and our forested watersheds. The work we fund provides numerous benefits including:
• Improved forest health
• Enhanced water quality and quantity
• Protecting wildlife habitat
• Ensuring businesses that rely heavily on clean and available water can prosper and thrive
Outreach and Participation is Key to our Success
Many knowledgeable and dedicated individuals have supported the development of Peaks to People over the past 8 years. In 2010, a committee made up of volunteer community stakeholders was established to lead the initial development of the Water Fund. During the next four years the committee worked extensively on stakeholder outreach, encouraging input and participation by diverse groups—utilities, companies, and others on the funding side, and private landowners and public land management agencies on the land conservation and stewardship side. Upon conclusion of the Exploration and Feasibility stage the committee was disbanded with members forming the Working Group.
The Working Group was comprised of a variety of stakeholders with expertise and interest in the development of the Water Fund. Members included scientists and economists, private landowners, public land managers, non-profit organizations, city utilities, businesses, consultants, and other stakeholder groups.
Working Together We Achieve More
In late 2017 the Working Group split into two primary groups:
- The Stakeholder Committee and
- The Science Advisory Committee
These two groups now support the Executive Director of the Water Fund and the further development of this program.
Many accomplishments were made in 2018 to move us towards our goals.
- Completed Work at Initial Demonstration Sites
- Completed Development of Watershed Investment Tool
- Developed Cross Organizational Project Tracker Website
- Received IRS designation as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization
- Awarded $500,000 grant from a private funder
- We are currently co-funding a fuels reduction project in Lory State Park
We are very thankful to our fiscal sponsors, the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University, and our founders, The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Collaborative Conservation, for preparing us to launch into a successful non-profit.
We’ve only just begun and already collaborative projects across Colorado’s Front Range are reducing erosion, restoring habitat and thinning trees, all in effort to protect our state’s vital watersheds. Peaks to People funded projects have accomplished a lot in a short period of time.
Accomplishments to Date (Peaks to People funded projects)*
- $210,000 invested in fuels reduction activities
- 174 acres treated
- 69 acres active crown fire reduced
- $124,000 in avoided home loss
- 994 metric tons of sediment avoided in water supplies
- 104 acres crucial wildlife habitat protected from severe wildfire
- $17,000 reduced sediments costs to water supplies
Anticipated Accomplishments (through 2020)*
- $2,000,000 invested in fuels reduction activities
- 1,000 acres treated
- 990 acres active crown fire reduced
- $460,000 in avoided home loss
- 93,000 metric tons of sediment avoided in water supplies
- 657 acres crucial wildlife habitat protected from severe wildfire
- 46 avoided impacts to parks and open spaces
- $705,000 reduced sediments costs to water supplies
* Accomplishments are modeled with Peaks to People’s Watershed Investment Tool and Co-benefits Module. Most calculations do not account for probability of fire. For more information, please visit https://peakstopeople.org/our-solutions/
We are lucky to live in a place where so many people care for the wild places that surround us but these places need our help. It is our vision to foster a Colorado where rural and urban communities join to enhance the natural resources upon which our quality of life depends. Access to clean, abundant water is essential to keeping our communities and businesses thriving, and our mountain watersheds are the unsung heroes that provide us with this vital resource. Join us in protecting our Northern Colorado watersheds. Working together, we can achieve more.