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Landscapes & Partners

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Homeowners reduce wildfire threat through Chaffee Chips

Chaffee County's Chaffee Chips program is offered by Envision Forest Health Council partners to reduce the threat of wildfire in the county. The program empowers community members to create defensible space around their homes by coordinating neighborhood slash removal and chipping services.

Chaffee Chips recently wrapped up its fourth year by removing 290 piles of slash from the Mesa Antero neighborhood near Nathrop — the largest event yet. More than 300 homeowners participated in Chaffee Chips wildfire mitigation events this year. Since the program’s inception, 750 landowners have spent 8,600 hours creating 2,300 slash piles. Well done to each resident who did the hard work of felling trees, trimming branches and piling slash neatly near their curbs.

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San Juan National Forest Prescribed Fire Program


San Juan National Forest Prescribed Fire Program

The San Juan National Forest's prescribed fire program began its 2023 season in early May and continued into June, with a three month pause during peak wildfire season. In October, Fire Officials began performing prescribed fires again as weather, fuel, and fire resources permitted. Broadcast prescribed fire season has now come to an end, and districts will now be burning slash piles throughout the winter of 2023/24 as conditions permit. SJNF burned 9,528 acres as part of its fire program in Fiscal Year 2023. SJNF’s winter pile burning runs November 2023 through spring 2024.

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Jefferson Conservation District's Bold Initiative: Mitigating Wildfire and Flooding Risks Across Colorado's Northern Front Range

In a groundbreaking move, the Jefferson Conservation District (JCD) is set to lead a monumental $13.4 million project aimed at minimizing the devastating impact of wildfires and flooding along Colorado's Northern Front Range. This ambitious undertaking, covering 4,000 acres of private lands, focuses on the strategic removal of trees to reduce the risk of wildfires, a menace exacerbated by the abundance of forest biomass.

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Montrose Forest Products boiler/turbine/kiln Supervisor Allen Satur and General Manager Mike Kusar walk toward the company's boiler room. While the machine is on, there's no visible smoke coming from the stack. (Kylea Henseler/Montrose Daily Press)


Montrose Forest Products investment to turn byproducts into power

Montrose Forest Products, one of Montrose's largest employers with more than 100 staff, produces enough lumber each year to build around 2,000 homes. But when timber comes through its gates, the raw materials don’t become studs and boards fit for construction through magic.

The process generates enough byproducts, like sawdust, wood chips, shavings, bark and dry wood, to fill up to 15 trucks per day, according to General Manager Mike Kusar.

MFP has historically sold the byproducts, which can go toward a range of uses from playground flooring to chicken litter. Now, the plant has made a major investment that will allow it to turn the byproducts into power— a move that will save the company money while reducing its environmental footprint.

Article and photo courtesy of Montrose Daily Press.

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Touring the Upper South Platte landscape

In 2019, RMRI selected three priority landscapes, one of which was the Upper South Platte landscape. RMRI leadership and partnership meeting held in the Upper South Platte landscape Sept. 26-27 brought together various partners from across the state. In this video, RMRI Coordinator Liz Dowling of the National Wild Turkey Federation takes us on a field tour of the USP landscape. Video by Liz Dowling.

RMRI Meeting Notes
RMRI Field Tour Notes

Events & Conferences

Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention

Jan. 31 - Feb. 2, 2024 | Hyatt Regency Aurora Denver Conference Center

Save the date! RMRI will be on the agenda and in the discussion.

Grants & Funding

The U.S. Forest Service is making nearly $50 million in grant funding available for proposals that support crucial links between resilient, healthy forests, strong rural economies and jobs in the forestry sector. The open funding opportunity comes through the Forest Service’s three key grant programs to support the forest products economy: Wood Innovations Grant, Community Wood Grant, and Wood Products Infrastructure Assistance Grant Programs. 

Grant Programs
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RestoringTheRockies.org | RestoreTheRockies@gmail.com 

The Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative serves as the common entry point for restoration efforts in the Rockies. RMRI supports Partners across federal, state, Tribal and local jurisdictions to increase pace and scale of forest restoration. This is Shared Stewardship in action.