Mark Your Calendar, Register Today
Please join us for our convening on the Science and Practice of Building Boulder County's Fire Resilient Future. Learn about the deep connections among the health of our local forests, water supply, and human and wildlife communities.

The program is designed for residents of Boulder County interested in understanding, creating, and supporting a fire resilient future for the community and environment.

Components include a field trip to Cal-Wood, a full-feature documentary, a panel discussion and an opportunity to ask your questions to experts in this field. We're fortunate to have a remarkable set of local and regional experts joining us for this series of events - more details below, following the schedule.

Monday, September 13

  • 8:45 - 11:30 Field Trip to Cal-Wood, with Executive Director Rafael Salgado and Natural Resource Manager Angie Busby

Tuesday, September 14

  • 3:00 - 4:30 Film Screening, The West Is Burning
  • 4:40 - 6:00 Panel Discussion - The Science and Practice of Building Boulder County's Fire Resilient Future
  • 6:15 - 7:30 Expanded Q&A and light dinner outdoors (if we decide we can be in-person for this segment) with local leaders and experts available for small group discussions.

Format: While we are waiting to see how COVID shifts our options to determine the format, we hope you will register now, knowing the determination is to follow (or, at least, save the date until we have a clearer picture of the guidelines and choices that are safe for everyone). We will let all registrants know by September 8th what the format will be, based on the Boulder County guidelines, Community Foundation policies, and the comfort and safety of our participants.

If we can be in-person for any segment (e.g. outdoors for light dinner and Q&A), we will be at the Longmont Museum. Timing above is subject to shifting based on format. In any event, the movie and panel discussion will both be available remotely.
Field Trip - Monday, September 13, 8:45 - 11:30
For 38 years, Cal-Wood has provided unique environmental education and experiences to youth and adults from Boulder County and beyond. During the October 2020 fire, more than half of Cal-Wood's 1,200-acre property burned. Learn more about the impact on Cal-Wood's land here.

This visit will focus on the potentially good and bad aspects of wildfire, the history of fire suppression, and plans for landscape-scale forest restoration to create a fire-resilient future in Boulder County.  

Rafael Salgado, Executive Director since 1999, and Natural Resource Manager Angie Busby will share their experience with wildfire at Cal-Wood and show us their efforts to care for their land. We will see first hand why landscape restoration and resiliency are so important and why healing burned areas is generally three times more expensive than mitigation and prevention.

Experts from the Left Hand Watershed Center, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute and the US Forest Service will join us to provide additional perspective and context for how we can apply the experience and lessons at Cal-Wood to the challenges and opportunities facing our entire region.

Note: This gathering will be capped at 30 participants and will be mostly outside with some carpooling once we are there to visit the land that was burned. If carpooling is not safe, we will visit Cal-Wood, but avoid the carpooling.
The Film - Tuesday, September 14, 3:00 (starting promptly)
The West Is Burning examines the history of forest management and the urgent need to act now to protect forests, rivers, and communities in the face of catastrophic wildfire.

The film explores the history of fire suppression and ways to generate positive change into the future.

Greg Aplet, Ph.D. Senior Science Advisor at the Wilderness Society has a primary role in the film and will introduce themes relating directly to our wildfire and landscape-scale restoration work in Boulder County.  

Following the film, Congressman Joe Neguse will share brief remarks about his perspective as Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus, member of the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and our representative from Colorado's 2nd District. Read more about Congressman Neguse and follow this link to read his 2021 Wildfire Resource Guide for Coloradans.
Panel - Tuesday, September 14, 4:40
After the film screening, a panel of local leaders will discuss fire science and future mitigation as well as fire's connection to our watershed health and services.

Panelists include:

Introduction: Matt Jones, Boulder County Commissioner, District 3
Facilitator: Jessie Olson, Executive Director, Left Hand Watershed Center
Interactive, expanded Q&A - Tuesday, September 14, 6:15
Our plan is to move outside for a casual dinner and Q&A (if we can be in-person or to a break-out room format if not) with the panelists and a team of other experts working on creating a more resilient, safe and healthy Boulder County and beyond.

Please see registration link for a full roster of participating organizations.

  • How can you best participate in building a fire-resilient future for Boulder County and beyond?
  • Do you know what watershed you live in? And which Fire Protection District?
  • What are the roles of the various agencies and organizations, and what resources are available to community members?
  • How can you prepare your home or land or neighborhood to be as fire resilient as possible?
  • Can you band together with neighbors to spread the word about what you'll learn?
  • What public policies are supportive of a fire resilient future?
  • Where can you give funds to make a difference and advance this work?
  • Whatever questions you have.

If we cannot convene indoors, but can gather outside safely, a casual dinner will be provided, and the panelists and experts above will be available to answer your questions and if the event is in-person, capacity will be limited to 70. If the event is virtual, we will structure break-out rooms for small-group discussions with the participants.
Additional Educational Events and Opportunities - Front Range Watershed Days
Watershed Days Overview

From the end of August through the month of September, the Watershed Center, along with partners and sponsors, will be hosting and co-hosting watershed outreach events, educational experiences, and a celebration aimed to inspire people to connect to their watershed through place-based, participatory learning.

Please follow this link to learn about more ways to engage, from hiking to biking to joining the community science efforts supporting a healthy watershed.
Thank you to our 2021 EAG Steering Committee: 

Sue Anderson
Len Berman
Dorothy Cohen
Jennie Curtis
Peggy Driscoll, CFBC staff
Steve Emmett-Mattox
Kezha Hatier-Riess
Chan Mortimer
Ning Mosberger-Tang
John Powers
Randy Snodgrass

And to our Planning Committee for this event: 

Steve Emmett-Mattox
Lisa Moreno, CFBC
Jessie Olson
Randy Snodgrass
Mark Stevens
Sarah Wegert

with a special thanks to Paul Orbuch for guidance and
to our expert participants from all components of the event.

If you are interested in learning more about our Steering Committee or planning gatherings, please email Peggy. We're looking forward to more important convening, learning, and working to support our environment in the coming months and years.

Our Environmental Affinity Group (EAG) convenes and inspires Boulder County environmental donors, building a connected and engaged community around environmental issues, connecting donors with environmental organizations, and providing opportunities for effective grantmaking.

The EAG will be celebrating its 5th year this fall

We are grateful to the INNOVO, Oreg, Garfield, and Justin Brooks Fisher Foundations as well as our other donors and friends for their leadership and generous support.

To learn more about past educational events hosted by the EAG, please follow this link.

We look forward to seeing you on Sept 13 and/or Sept 14.