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Monthly Update

September 2022


The RMRI in-person Partner & Leadership Team meeting/field trip is Oct. 4-6. The Upper Arkansas Watershed Partnership received a Catalyst Fund grant award for $25,000 over two years. The U.S. Forest Service will resume its prescribed fire program after a 90-day self-imposed pause. The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) is now accepting applications for the Forest Restoration and Wildlife Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) Grant Program. 


RMRI Partners increase the pace and scale of restoration work on these three large landscapes across Colorado: RMRI-Southwest, RMRI-Upper Arkansas and RMRI-Upper South Platte. This is their work.

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Oct. 4-6, 2022 – RMRI in-person Partner & Leadership Team meeting/field trip RMRI

Partners with the Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative (RMRI) will host the next RMRI Leadership Team & Partnership in-person meeting Oct. 4-6. Leaders in land management, forest restoration, and conservation will rendezvous in Durango as part of an effort to restore the Southwest landscape, as well as two other at-risk landscapes in Colorado.


The three-day event includes RMRI partner and landscape updates, discussions surrounding the four RMRI values, a world café, subcommittee updates, and both a field tour and industry tour.


RMRI partners last sat down together in person in February 2020, and have been meeting virtually since. Much has happened in those two and half years, and much more is to be done. RMRI partners in the RMRI-Southwest landscape, meanwhile, have made tremendous progress toward the monumental task of restoring an entire landscape over ten years.

The multi-day event will be held in Durango. Meeting room capacity is limited, so please email RestoreTheRockies@gmail.com, if you are interested in attending. We will also have a hybrid/virtual option available. Past meeting summaries at https://restoringtherockies.org/meeting-summaries

Congratulations to the Upper Arkansas Watershed Program! RMRI-Upper Arkansas

The Upper Arkansas Watershed Partnership received a Catalyst Fund grant award for $25,000 over two years. Funding will support contracted facilitation to provide coordination services for the Partnership. This facilitation support will enable the Partnership to develop a conservation plan to prioritize watershed protection efforts, and to develop a watershed river report card to improve external communication efforts around conservation efforts. More…


Forest Service to resume its prescribed fire program RMRI

On Sept. 8, 2022, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, Randy Moore, announced that “After thorough evaluation of the findings and recommendations provided by the National Review Team, I have decided to conditionally resume the Forest Service’s prescribed fire program.” On May 20, 2022, Chief Moore had temporarily paused prescribed burning on National Forest System lands nation-wide for 90 days to conduct a national review in light of recent prescribed fire escapes that had devastating impacts on communities and natural resources. More…


CSFS accepting FRWRM grant applications RMRI

The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) is now accepting applications for the Forest Restoration and Wildlife Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) Grant Program. The application period is August 17 – Oct. 19, 2022. Awards will be made by March 31, 2023. The Request for Applications (RFA), application templates and instructions are posted here.


VIDEO: NWTF releases video highlighting RMRI RMRI

RMRI co-convener the National Wild Turkey Federation released a 10-minute video highlighting the Rocky Mountain restoration Initiative. NWTF is taking a focused approach to conservation through their "America's Big Six" campaign. Of the Big Six, Colorado falls under “America's Western Wildlands.” Video by Mossy Oak. Watch video.


U.S. Forest Service wood innovations program, competitive grants programs RMRI

The U.S. Forest Service is expected to open their Wood Innovations and Community Wood grant program applications around the end of October 2022. Launched in 2015, the Wood Innovations grant program stimulates and expands wood products and wood energy markets. Launched in 2020, the Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation grant program provides funding for grants to install thermally led community wood energy systems or to build innovative wood product manufacturing facilities. More…


Apply now for a CPW Outdoor Equity Grant RMRI

Calling all nonprofit organizations, Tribes, schools, governments & for-profit businesses who want to increase access to Colorado’s outdoors. Now is the time to apply for a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Outdoor Equity Grant Program. The 2022 Fall Grant Cycle will open August 22 - September 30, 2022. Organizations interested in applying for the 2022 Outdoor Equity Grant should review the gr​ant ​g​u​ide for instructions on how to apply.​ More…


SPAWP Collaborative Efforts Address Wildfire Risk RMRI

A lot of great work is happening in Colorado, not just in RMRI priority landscapes. This story was shared by Fire Adapted Colorado (FACO)—an RMRI Partner, after attending one of their network member's events. The Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection (SPAWP) hosted a Summer Community Education and Training Program, including a community-wide meeting, Aug. 27, at the Cuchara Community Center in Cuchara Village. A packed house of concerned citizens and Firewise community leaders were present, along with a host of collaborating agencies who reported on their efforts and SPAWP milestones following the 2018 Spring Fire in Huerfano and Costilla Counties. More…


NWTF launches conservation initiative to benefit forest health in Big Sky Country RMRI

The new collaborative Big Sky Forestry Initiative, co-developed by the National Wild Turkey Federation and the USDA Forest Service, will help bring partners and funding together to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire, enhance wildlife habitat, secure clean water, maintain access and recreational opportunities and prepare communities on the wildland interface for wildfire. More...


NWTF: By the Numbers RMRI

The NWTF’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a 10-year plan to conserve or enhance 4 million acres of wildlife habitat, recruit 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. To date, NWTF—an RMRI co-convener—has conserved or enhanced 4,444,680 acres between 2012-2021, surpassing their 10-year goal of 4 million acres. Specific to Colorado, NWTF has conserved or enhanced 5,822 acres of wildlife habitat over a 4-year period between 2018-2022. More…


CYCA to launch Colorado Climate Corps RMRI

The RMRI Partner, Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA), received $1.7 million from Serve Colorado, the state AmeriCorps commission, to launch the Colorado Climate Corps. Serve Colorado was able to make use of funds originating with the American Rescue Plan to support the program. AmeriCorps recently announced that they will provide funding to the Colorado Climate Corps as part of their regular budget for three years, starting in 2023. CYCA-accredited corps have are experiencing challenges filling open positions while competing with jobs that provide a better wage. More…


Request for Proposals for FY 2023 Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Competitive Grant Program RMRI

The Landscape Scale Restoration program provides USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry (S&PF) competitive grants focused on promoting collaborative, science-based restoration of priority forest landscapes and on furthering priorities identified in State Forest Action Plans. Proposals are now being accepted for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 cycle. Proposals must be received at tim.reader@colostate.edu by 5 p.m. Friday, October 14, 2022. Questions? Contact Tim Reader, Colorado State Forest Service, tim.reader@colostate.edu, 970-759-2443. More…


USPP priority areas in review RMRI-Upper South Platte

On Sept. 1, members of the Upper South Platte Partnership’s Management and Science Team (MST) held a hybrid meeting at the Colorado State Forest Service office in Golden. It was USPP’s first in-person event in more than two years. The meeting initiated a review of USPP partners’ priority areas to better visualize collective areas of concern, gaps, and opportunities to collaborate. This ties into USPP’s recent review and updates of its Structures and Protocols document originally created in 2015, reflecting changes in the partnership’s evolution. Priorities presented at the meeting varied from source water and drinking water infrastructure protection, forest health, wildland urban interface (WUI), some recreation areas, plus wildfire risk assessments, among other considerations. The process reconvenes at the MST’s next regular monthly meeting, Oct. 6.


Leaders in restoration meet in Durango RMRI-SW

RMRI is highlighted in this quarter's issue of the Partnership Peaks, the quarterly newsletter published by the San Juan National Forest. More…


Buena Vista to begin trail project address erosion, safety concerns on Whipple Trail RMRI-Upper Arkansas

The Town of Buena Vista will begin a trail project later this fall to address erosion, safety concerns, congestion and additional issues on the popular Whipple Trail, which begins on the east side of the town bridge over the Arkansas River. More…


EXPLAINER: Potential Operational Delineations (PODs) RMRI-SW

Did you know that the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station co-developed Potential Operational Delineations (PODs) to pre-plan for fire using a risk management approach? PODs also give land managers a formal process for developing landscape-scale wildfire response options before fires start. PODs are spatial units or containers defined by potential control features, such as roads and ridge tops. Why this is important is because the RMRI-Southwest Steering Committee is managing the RMRI-Southwest landscape using PODs. The committee surveyed stakeholders with varied interests and values to develop a POD assessment. This input from across groups, collaboratives and agencies prioritizes the PODs and the work within the RMRI-Southwest landscape. PODs Resource…

The latest edition of The Source,

RMRI's quarterly newsletter.

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In this issue of The Source, we focus on RMRI Partners in each of RMRI's three Colorado landscapes in the Southwest, Upper Arkansas and Upper South Platte.

Read The Source today!


Where does Our drinking water come from?

Demand for water is increasing, though rising temperatures combined with more frequent and severe drought are reducing available water in certain parts of the country. In a new report, Forest Service scientists and partners delineated where our drinking water comes from, how humans move water from one river basin to another, and how many people are served by public water supplied from forested lands. Forested lands provide the cleanest and most stable water supply compared to other land types and many western cities receive most of their drinking water from national forests and grasslands. This knowledge will help managers prioritize areas for treatment and provide support for projects that aim to protect or enhance water supplies. More…


Mass Timber Apartment Building in Colorado is Designed to Reduce Carbon

A 12-story mass timber apartment building, Return to Form, is planned for Denver after being recognized for its sustainable properties, as announced at the AIA Conference on Architecture. The building is one of six proposals selected for the Softwood Lumber Board and USDA Forest Service’s Building to Net-Zero Carbon competition. Winning projects were awarded based on their ability to demonstrate mass timber’s role in reducing the built environment’s carbon footprint. More…


No updates to report for September 2022.


Oct. 4-6, 2022 – RMRI in-person Partner & Leadership Team meeting/field trip RMRI

RMRI is planning the first in-person RMRI Partners Meeting in years. The multi-day event will be held in Durango. Meeting room capacity is limited, so please email RestoreTheRockies@gmail.com, if you are interested in attending. We will also have a hybrid/virtual option available. Past meeting summaries at https://restoringtherockies.org/meeting-summaries.



October 11-12 2022 Sustaining Colorado Watersheds Conference

Located at the Westin in Avon, Colorado, the theme this year is, Bridging Connections: Learning from the Past, Investing in the Future. More…



April 11-14 2023 Colorado Wildland Fire Conference

Main conference session is April 12-13 w/ pre- and post-con workshops and tours. Theme: Accelerating Adaptation and Managing Expectations. Details at www.wildfire-colorado.com.


The following information was delivered by Teddy Parker-Renga, Sept. 13, at the RMRI Social License & Communications Subcommittee meeting. Teddy leads communication efforts for the Colorado State Forest Service and has a lead role in implementing SB22-007.

SB22-007: Increase Wildfire Risk Mitigation Outreach Efforts

Senate Bill SB22-007, Increase Wildfire Risk Mitigation Outreach Efforts, was signed into lawJune 3, 2022. The act requires the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) convene a working group that includes Colorado's Division of Fire Prevention & Control (DFPC) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). On Sept. 13, Teddy Parker-Renga of CSFS provided an update to the RMRI Social License Subcommittee:

Intent: Raise awareness among residents to be prepared for wildfire and inform them on what they can do to mitigate wildfire risk to their life, home and property.

The CSFS is convening a working group with the USFS and DFPC to consider:

  • How to enhance the Wildfire Awareness Month campaign for 2023 and 2024
  • How to distribute educational resources like the HIZ guide
  • What other wildfire mitigation materials to develop
  • What marketing and education efforts are most effective in raising awareness
  • How to coordinate education materials and info online (CSFS website)
  • How to leverage existing resources to enhance outreach efforts
  • What additional resources are necessary to grow campaign and other outreach efforts

Key Deliverables:

  • Recommendations from working group of wildfire mitigation partners
  • Enhanced wildfire awareness (WAM) campaign in 2023 and 2024


If you would like your work highlighted in this monthly email update, submit to RMRI communication manager, Nathan Van Schaik, at nathaniel.vanschaik@usda.gov. Or, to discuss any communications issues or concerns, contact Nathan via email or at (720) 584-6571.

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RMRI is a Shared Stewardship pilot project that mobilizes 40+ Partners across federal, state, Tribal and local jurisdictions to increase pace and scale of forest restoration. Partners direct investments at improving a few larger landscapes rather than make slow progress in multiple small places. RMRI Partners plan together, prioritize together and act together. Partners are restoring landscapes in the RMRI-Southwest, RMRI-Upper Arkansas and RMRI-Upper South Platte landscapes.

Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative