June 2015 Blanco Basin Meeting

From and initial meeting in 2014 and a follow-up survey on landowner concerns and interest in on-the-ground projects, it was clear that a follow-up workshop was needed to determine how to move forward. Resource partners from Natural Resources Conservation Service, America Tree Farm System, US Partners for Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership and Firewise presented on their programs. San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership spoke about their recently completed Watershed Risk Assessment for the region, which identifies the Blanco Basin as an area of high interest and value, due to intersection of wildfire risk and municipal water supply. The Natural Resources Conservation Service talked about what it takes from a community to conduct an “Area-Wide Conservation Plan”, a planning tool available to communities that helps prioritize on-the-ground projects and can help garner financial and technical support. Landowners gave input on the types of on-the-ground projects of interest. Projects identified included water, agriculture (ditch improvement), and wildlife. Of greatest importance to landowners was addressing wildfire risk and overall forest health. Maps were developed and shared to help landowners visualize the resources of importance to them and the risks those resources face. Below you will find images of the maps we reviewed with landowners including fire risk assessments, planned activities, and priority areas for forest treatments.

PHOTO GALLERY

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