Forest Management and Fire Mitigation for Landowners
Jefferson County’s forested landscape means that there is high risk of wildfire, especially during dry spells. Forest management is a crucial step to protect your home, your forest, and the entire county from devastating wildfire. Forestry services for landowners may be found from Jefferson Conservation District (720-661-1738) and the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS). Both agencies provide technical assistance in relation to forest restoration, wildlife habitat, wildfire mitigation/fuel reduction, and overall forest ecosystem health. For certain projects, funding assistance and coordination of professional forestry contractors may be available. Below is a link to an in-depth video JCD created discussing wildfire mitigation practices for landowners, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB4v3Zyo_lE.
JCD-specific programs include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), delivered in partnership with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The Colorado State Forest Service programs include the Forest Ag Program, Forest Legacy Program, Forest Restoration & Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program, Forest Stewardship Program, Homesite Assessments, Tree Farm Program. CSFS also maintains a list of private consulting foresters; contact the Golden office for more information.
Additional educational and informational resources about forest management are available from CSU Extension’s Natural Resources program.
Wildfire Prepared Home, a program of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), is a research-based company that provides home hardening educational videos, a homeowner guide in how to make your home more fire-resistant, and they offer home assessment. IBHS also provides a free home assessment & checklist to help inform and better prepare your home for wildfire.
The Cooperative Extension is a national resource page that report the most current science and experience-based information on wildfire issues. They also provide resources for homeowners, such as fire ratings for various construction materials and discuss topics like vulnerable areas in a building.
Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory provides in-depth virtual seminar series that examine current research and management of wildfires.
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) provides community tree planting and tree care. Technical assistance in community forestry from CSFS includes devising plans to maintain and add to tree resources and providing information and workshops on tree care. CSFS creates strategies for planning for forest pests and invasive species and cares for storm-damaged trees.
Forest Health and Restoration
The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), in partnership with the US Forest Service, conducts an annual inventory that provides objective and scientifically credible data on forest health, and measures changes over time. This information helps researchers, policymakers, consultants, private industry, landowners and natural resource professionals better understand current forest conditions and significant changes across Colorado and the nation.
CSFS also conducts forest restoration and provides guidelines on restoration following a wildfire. CSFS defines forest restoration as restoring healthy, diverse and resilient ecological systems to minimize uncharacteristically severe fires, especially on critical watersheds. Publications and documents relating to forest restoration are available online.
Understanding Wildfire Risk in Your Community
Visit wildfirerisk.org to understand, explore, and reduce wildfire risk in your community. This interactive online resource from the USDA Forest Service under the direction of Congress and is designed to help community leaders, such as elected officials, community planners, and fire managers. This is the first time wildfire risk to communities has been mapped nationwide.