The Peaks to People Water Fund aims to protect water resources in the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson watersheds by restoring forests to reduce the risk of severe wildfires. These forest restoration projects not only protect water from sedimentation and debris, but also improve forest health and habitat, decrease firefighting costs, and reduce home loss and infrastructure damage. Our goal is to dramatically accelerate forest restoration to reduce the threat of severe wildfire by engaging downstream water users to donate funds for this work.
Using sophisticated tools, Peaks to People identifies the treatment type and location based on the greatest potential risk reduction. Additionally, each treatment site is monitored before and after the treatment to accurately measure the results of the treatments.
Utilize the Watershed Investment Tool to identify priority projects
Link land stewards to donors interested in funding restoration at the sites identified
Utilize the Watershed Investment Tool to analyze pre-treatment conditions, determine treatment methods and establish project goals
Provide funds to land stewards to conduct the work
Utilize the Watershed Investment Tool to Analyze post-treatment data to confirm treatment activities and gauge project success
Peaks to People and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute are developing a Watershed Investment Tool to inform the type and location of forest health treatments in the watersheds, ensuring that funds are put towards the greatest potential outcomes. The tool also enables us to analyze the results of each project to inform future decisions. The Watershed Investment Tool can be used to identify priority treatment areas based on the needs and concerns of a specific entity that is at risk from increased sedimentation levels.
Treatments will by and large focus on reducing overgrown forests by thinning trees in a method that promotes natural habitats, but mitigates the risk of fire by leaving less available fuels to burn in the event of a fire. Depending on the specific treatment plans for each site, trees may be:
- Felled and put into a burn pile
- Removed for other use
- Treated with a prescribed burn
All treatment plans will be thoroughly vetted and discussed with landowners, contractors, and investors prior to the start of a project.
You can learn more about our projects, process, tool and tactics, by reviewing our recent success stories.
Photo Credit: © Bill Cotton/CSU Photography