|The Hayman Fire's devastation impacted the water source for more than 75% of Colorado.|
In June of 2002, the perfect conditions for a devastating fire converged in the forests near Denver, Colorado. A five-year period of below-normal precipitation and unseasonably dry air; absence of fire in the area during the previous 100 years; high, gusty winds; low precipitation; and human carelessness collided to create Colorado's largest and most impactful fire.
For 20 days, the Hayman Fire raged through the Pike National Forest, as well as state, county and private lands, burning a total of 137,760 acres. In its wake, the fire consumed 600 structures, jeopardized habitat for numerous threatened or endangered species, and severely impacted the water source for more than 75% of Colorado's 4.3 million residents and states downstream.
The goal of the NFF's restoration effort is to restore a number of critical sub-basins within the Hayman Fire. West Creek, Manitou Park, Lower Trout and Four Mile watersheds are still producing an inordinate amount of sediment into the Denver Metro water supply. The project will include riparian restoration to help reduce sediment loads, obliteration and relocation of trails, reforestation, noxious weed eradication, wildlife habitat restoration, and climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
|Click on the icon to the right to download a PDF of the Treasured Landscapes project area on the Pike National Forest.|
A central component of the implementation strategy will be significant community involvement and engagement. Restoration implementation will happen through multiple avenues including volunteer efforts, employing youth through the Mile High Youth Corp, local nonprofits, and contracts. A social/economic goal of the project is for local nonprofits and community interests to have the capacity and resources to actively engage as partners, as well as sustain the watersheds over the long term. Scientific inquiry will also be integrated into the project, and lessons will be shared among scientists, the Forest Service, and the community.