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Forest Health and Fuel Reduction Project in Gilpin County

May 9, 2023

BOULDER, Colo. – Starting in early May, vegetation cutting and hand piling activities will begin as part of the Lump Gulch Fuels Reduction Project. In partnership with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC), the project is part of a long-term approach to confronting the wildfire crisis by sharing resources to reduce hazardous fuels in and around the wildland-urban interface on both public and private lands. The Lump Gulch Fuels Reduction project helps mitigate wildfire risk through thinning and prescribed burning that will utilize U.S. Forest Service fire and fuel resource crews on the Boulder Ranger District near Rollinsville.

The joint wildland fuels module is part of a new first-of-its-kind agreement to proactively confront the wildfire crisis along Colorado’s northern Front Range as part of the USDA Forest Service’s 10-year strategy to address the wildfire risk to infrastructure and communities. The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests & Pawnee National Grassland is making a multi-million-dollar investment in shared resources with DFPC to implement a preventative, cross-boundary approach to wildfire mitigation.

This type of work is designed to reduce forest density and increase the diversity of vegetation across the landscape, encouraging a healthier, more resilient forest. Diversity in the age, size, and species of trees across the landscape helps make forests more resilient to disease and insect infestations and helps reduce the spread and intensity of wildfires. For these treatments, a variety of lodgepole pine, mixed conifer, and aspen stands have been selected to promote landscape diversity, forest health, and wildlife habitat.

The crews will apply patchcut and clearcut prescriptions across 30% of Unit 27 and Unit 37. Removal of conifer trees adjacent to aspen stands will reduce competition, encourage aspen growth, and promote biodiversity. Fuels gathered from this project will be piled and burned after curing for at least one year. Larger material will be made into smaller pieces and scattered. Once work begins, crews are expected to be on-site periodically throughout the summer, depending on their availability from fire assignments.

For more information visit the Lump Gulch Fuel Reduction Project