Cheley Camp – Fox Creek Forest Restoration

Project Location:

Larimer Conservation District has identified 18 acres of forest restoration treatment within the Cheley Camps of Colorado property boundary. The property is located approx. 8 miles West of Loveland, Colorado. Headwaters North Fork Thompson River HUC 12 Watershed. The project area sits adjacent to future treatments planned by the Big Thompson Watershed Coalition (BTWC) on neighboring private property and is strategically placed to build upon that planned work, along with other planned and completed forest health projects done by various agencies/organizations in the greater Glen Haven vicinity.

Project Impact:

Historic forest type is Ponderosa Pine. Species composition has drastically shifted, tree densities are much higher, and average tree age class is lower than historic reference conditions for the site. The property is currently experiencing encroachment of non-fire adapted species due to the absence of wildfire as a disturbance mechanism throughout the last 100+ years. This project area requires heavy tree thinning to restore the forests to a healthy composition, structure, and ecologically functioning system.  LCD’s Forest Restoration treatments typically have a large emphasis on wildlife habitat; research has shown that a forest with ecologically sound forest health treatments implemented will inherently have more wildlife habitat readily available. In aiming for a heterogeneous, open and random forest structure, LCD’s treatments actually improve the diversity of the under-story thanks to an improved diversity in abiotic factors like sunlight and water retention. This suite of freshly diverse plant life is better equipped to support mammals like Mule Deer, Bears, Moose and Elk throughout the season in providing more options for food and cover. Predatory birds, insects, and small mammals benefit from elements of the forest restoration such as the purposeful retention of standing dead trees.

Implementing Agency:

Larimer Conservation District

Funding Agencies:

Natural Resource Conservation Service
City of Loveland
Peaks to People Water Fund

Funding Year: 2023

Watershed: Big Thompson