Draft Decision released for Black Diamond Landscape Resiliency and Risk Reduction Project
Fort Collins, Colo., May 22, 2023 – The Canyon Lakes District Ranger of the Roosevelt National Forest has released a draft decision for the Black Diamond Landscape Resiliency and Risk Reduction Project located in northern Larimer County. This collaborative project is within one of the identified landscapes in the Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy, addressing at-risk areas.
“Comments received from our partners and interested community members have helped shape a balanced approach to addressing the wildfire crisis we face in the forest,” Canyon Lakes District Ranger Dennis Kuhnel said. “Collaboration must continue as we move forward in implementing forest health projects within the Roosevelt National Forest.”
The Black Diamond proposal creates a framework for National Forest management activities across the landscape that would create a more resilient forest, complement work on neighboring lands, maintain healthy watersheds and support local Community Wildfire Protection Plans. Proposed work includes thinning the forest and prescribed fire, among other forest health treatments. Utilizing a “conditions-based approach,” this proposal would allow the Forest Service to be responsive to future community requests for forest management in this area while remaining adaptive to a changing environment and protecting forest resources. Project documents, including the final Environmental Assessment, are available online.
The next step in this planning effort is the 45-day objection period, where those who have commented can review the response to comment and, if those are not satisfactory, can object to the draft decision. At the end of the objection period, the Forest Service has 45-days to address objections. A final decision could be signed as soon as late summer 2023.
This collaborative project includes just over 265,000 acres of land, with 190,177 acres of that being National Forest System lands. The remaining acres are comprised of local, state or private ownership. Although treatments may be collaboratively implemented across ownership boundaries, the Forest Service’s draft decision only addresses activities on National Forest System lands.
The Northern Colorado Fireshed Collaborative, a key partner in this project, has developed a StoryMap in partnership with the Forest Service for Black Diamond that has additional information, including a recording of our previous project webinar. This site will be key as we move forward towards the implementation phase to continue collaboration.