We are responsible for the protection of our water supplies, infrastructure, and watershed resources. Our forest management program is designed to improve the health of the forests and make them less susceptible to insects, disease and catastrophic wildfire.
We manage our watersheds through a cooperative agreement with the Colorado State Forest Service, and focus on four primary elements:
- Forest management and restoration
- Wildfire suppression and planning
- Post fire mitigation planning
- Utilization of prescribed fire
Forest management can reduce the risk and severity of wildfire events by mitigating the amount and structure of forest fuels. Some management techniques include selective forest thinning, cutting in fuel breaks, and the use of prescribed fire.
We have taken a number of actions to assess the risks and implement forest health projects to reduce the threat of wildfire near collection and storage infrastructure. Such efforts include:
- Ongoing forest management on Pikes Peak North and South Slope watersheds.
- Funding the completion and implementation of a National Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment by the U.S. Forest Service to reduce the amount of fuels and risk of catastrophic wildfire on Pikes National Forest wildfire risk and post-fire sedimentation modeling for the Pikes Peak region, Blue River and Homestake watersheds.
- Building alliances with other water providers and communities to partner on future forest
The most recent prescribed burn was successfully completed in 2010 adjacent to the North and South Catamount Reservoirs on Pikes Peak's North Slope. Mastication activities have also taken place on North Slope.
In 2012, our forest management program was nationally recognized by Harris Sherman, under secretary for Natural Resources and Environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.