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 The Upper Monument Creek Landscape Restoration Initiative: Report and Recommendations

Report Published: January 2014

Colorado: Upper Monument Creek Landscape Restoration Initiative: Report and Recommendations
The Upper Monument Creek (UMC) landscape is located on Colorado’s southern
Front Range within a region that has experienced increasingly severe and costly impacts from wildfire, including the record-setting 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire that burned across the landscape’s southern boundary.  The UMC landscape is located on the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Pike National Forest in area adjacent to two other landscapes previously analyzed and treated by the agency.

Participants in the UMC Landscape Restoration Initiative (the Initiative) worked together for more than a year to develop collaborative, science-based management recommendations aimed at restoring forest resilience and reducing wildfire risks to communities in the UMC area

The Initiative submitted their Report and Recommendations to the USFS in early 2014.  The Report provides background on the natural and human history of the UMC landscape, describes current forest conditions and challenges, and details the spatial and non-spatial analyses conducted by the group through their collaborative process.

Based on these analyses, the UMC Collaborative recommended that the USFS use a combination of mechanical, manual and prescribed fire treatments to manage conditions on approximately 18,000 acres within the 67,000 acre UMC landscape over the next 7-10 years.  The estimated ten-year budget needed to implement these recommendations totals slightly over $10 million, or $1 million average cost per year. 

The Initiative further recommended that the USFS take an adaptive approach to management in the UMC landscape, with emphasis on robust monitoring, stakeholder engagement and continuous improvement over time.
UMC INITIATIVE PARTICIPANTS:  Coalition for the Upper South Platte, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State University, Rocky Mountain Tree Ring Research, The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, West Range Reclamation LLC.

Contact: Paige Lewis, The Nature Conservancy