|Vail Volunteers. Vail Resorts Photo by Peter M. Fredin. (More photos are available for download at the NFF Image Library.)|
DENVER, June 8, 2012 – Today dozens of local homeowners, volunteers, partners and others gathered to recognize a three-year partnership that brought $4 million to plant trees, restore critical watersheds, reseed thousands of acres and put youth to work on the landscape. Colorado Governor Hickenlooper also recognized the 10-year anniversary and proclaimed June 8 Hayman Remembrance Day.
“Today, the story of the Hayman Fire is one of restoration, collaboration and partnerships. As we work together to restore the landscape it also serves to restore the community’s connection to the land,” said Daniel Jirón, regional forester, U.S Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. “The Forest Service could not have planted one million trees, reseeded 17,000 acres, spent more than 100,000 hours and hired world renowned expert Dave Rosgen to restore this area without the leadership from partners and volunteers along the way.”
“Three years ago the Pike National Forest became one the National Forest Foundation’s first Treasured Landscapes conservation sites. The Hayman Restoration Partnership has since demonstrated the tremendous results that can be reaped through public-private partnerships,” said NFF President Bill Possiel. “The leadership of Vail Resorts, the generosity of many donors, and the hard work of our partners at the Forest Service and local conservation organizations has enabled us to raise $2 million and make great strides in revitalizing Colorado’s precious forests and watersheds.”
During the past three years, Vail Resorts employees have engaged with on-the-ground restoration projects contributing 1,500 volunteer hours in the Trail Creek watershed. They worked alongside volunteers with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP), Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Mile High Youth Corps and others.
“This partnership illustrates the power of the private sector and government working together to solve one of the most critical environmental issues in Colorado,” said Rob Katz, chief executive officer for Vail Resorts. “The commitment from Vail Resorts, the Gates Family Foundation and Aurora Water together with the NFF and the USFS has resulted in truly groundbreaking work that will change fire restoration across the country. Through this partnership, Vail Resorts is proud to be a leader in forest health – something that connects our business, our employees and our guests."
Dave Rosgen, internationally recognized stream restoration expert, has implemented a plan to restore the Indian Creek watershed, an area that continues to produce 60 percent more sediment than before the fire. His work is also training ground for experts from around the world and this project is the largest wildfire restoration project in the country.
Restoration work will continue beyond the 10-year anniversary and others are joining the effort to provide nature a nudge in recovery.
“The Coca-Cola Company is deeply committed to water stewardship and we are pleased to play a part in restoring this critical watershed, which provides clean water to millions of Colorado residents,” said Jon Radtke, Water Resource Manager for Coca-Cola Refreshments. “We strive to safely return to nature an equivalent amount of water used in our beverages and their production, and this partnership is bringing us one step closer to achieving that goal.”
Photos are available for download at the NFF Image Library.
For b-roll video footage, please contact Jennifer
Schoonen at 406-830-3354.
Forest Service Release: Watershed Restoration Hayman BurnWatch on vimeo
Vice President, Conservation Programs
NFF conservation programs, community-based conservation
Ecosystem Services Program Manager
Tree-planting & Carbon Capital Fund programs
Director, California Program
NFF programs in CA
Director of Conservation Awards
Grants and grant programs