We were excited to get out into the forest last month alongside our partners from the Larimer Conservation District and the Colorado State Forest Service to explore active and completed projects in the Big Thompson watershed. This excursion was a crucial component of our Forest Restoration & Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) Grant agreement.
Through the FRWRM program, Peaks to People was awarded $1,000,000 to support crucial forest health initiatives led by Larimer Conservation District and the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition. Administered by the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), this grant operates on a reimbursement basis, ensuring that funds are allocated upon project completion. This approach fosters accountability and dedication to ensuring successful project outcomes.
Transforming the Pole Hill Community
Larimer Conservation District has been enhancing forest health and reducing wildfire risk in the Pole Hill Community since 2017. The impact of their work has been remarkable, and we were delighted to witness the thriving response of the forest to their thinning treatments. Sites that sustained heavy tree removal as recently as two months ago are already covered in fresh vegetation.
The significance of funding wildfire mitigation work in the Pole Hill Community cannot be overstated. The proximity of this region to critical water supplies amplifies the importance of safeguarding it from high-severity wildfires. Many residents call this community their year-round home, providing them with a vested interest in protecting their lives, properties, and livelihoods from potential wildfire threats. As the positive impacts of the implemented forest health projects become evident, more landowners in the area are signing up for property assessments to participate in fuels reduction projects.
Uniting Organizations for Change
Our visit to the Pole Hill community showcased the tangible results of the FRWRM Grant and the unwavering commitment of Larimer Conservation District. The collaboration between various organizations and the growing participation of landowners serve as powerful catalysts for change. As we move forward, we continue to prioritize forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation efforts, ensuring the well-being of our communities and the preservation of our forested watersheds.
We encourage you to take an active role in supporting forest health and wildfire risk mitigation in your own community. Reach out to local conservation and environmental organizations to inquire about ongoing projects and volunteer opportunities. Together, we can make a significant difference in preserving our forests and protecting our communities.