Wildfire Resilience and Stewardship across the Landscape: Working with Private Landowners

Colorado has recently felt the increasing effects of devastating wildfires. Federal and state agencies have been working hard to prevent the risk of catastrophic wildfires on public lands, but 60% of Colorado’s land is privately owned. Wildfire isn’t contained by property lines and landowners in Log Hill Mesa set out to reduce the risk of wildfire spread on their property.

The Montgomery family partnered with Colorado West Land Trust, West Region Wildfire Council, and The Log Hill Village Parks and Recreation District to protect their land not only from development, but also from the potential spread of damaging wildfires. Together, the groups improved the property by spacing out the pinion and juniper trees to decrease the risk of crown fire spread within the canopy of the ponderosa pine. They also worked to foster diversity on the landscape in an effort to lower the threat of disease spread and bark beetle infestation. Native seed mix was planted to keep the flames low in an event of a fire.

Collectively, this work helps prevent catastrophic wildfires resulting in the promotion of wildlife corridors, healthy watersheds, and the protection of natural resources. Not only that but the property is fortunately located on Log Hill Mesa where it could serve as a fire break and protect over 650 in the area. This project serves as an example of what private homeowners can do to reduce the risk of yet another devastating wildfire.