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About the Front Range Roundtable. March 2012. Facilitated by:. Colorado’s Fire Seasons. Thousands of acres of wildfire per year (Total = 1.9 million acres of wildfire since 1995). Includes Hayman fire :

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About the front range roundtable

About the Front Range Roundtable

March 2012

  • Facilitated by:

Colorado s fire seasons
Colorado’s Fire Seasons

Thousands of acres of wildfire per year (Total = 1.9 million acres of wildfire since 1995)

Includes Hayman fire:

$200 million of costs from the Hayman Fire alone, which accounted for one-fifth of all acres burned that year (138k acres)

Includes Waldo (18k acres) and High Park (87k acres)

Includes Bobcat Gulch fire: 11k acres

Includes Buffalo Creek fire: 12k acres

Includes Fourmile fire: 6k acres

FRFTP formed



Five years of implementation

Sources: 1995 – 2010: Rocky Mountain Area and Coordination Center Annual Activity Report (2001-2004); Wildland Fire Activity by Cause, Combining Federal and Non-federal Agencies Within Each State (www.fs.fed.us/r2/fire/oo_annual_report.pdf); 2011 – 2012: http://www.nifc.gov/fireInfo/fireInfo_statistics.html

Front range forests
Front Range Forests

  • 4.2 million acres of forestin the Front Range

  • 1.4 million in need of ecological restoration and fire risk mitigation

“Subalpine”: Lodgepole Pine and Spruce Fir

“Upper Montane”: Mesic Ponderosa Pine and Mixed Conifer

“Lower Montane”: Dry Ponderosa pine and Dry Douglas fir

Definitions of front range life zones

  • Sub-alpine

  • Upper Montane

  • Lower Montane

  • Lower Ecotone

Definitions of Front Range life zones

Front Range life zones

General elevations1

Example communities

Dominant overstory composition

Associated vegetation types


  • None

  • No trees

  • Grassy slopes and boulder fields

  • Sedges, mat and cushion plants, dwarf willows

  • Winter Park

  • Ward

~9,000-9,500’ to ~11,500’

  • Lodgepole Pine

  • Spruce/Fir

  • Bogs, meadows, ponds, rich in wildflowers

  • Mesic Ponderosa Pine

  • Mesic Mixed Conifer2

  • Some permanent meadows

~8,000’ to ~9,000-9,500’

  • Estes Park

  • Granby

~6,000’ to ~8,000’

  • Dry Ponderosa Pine

  • Dry Douglas-fir

  • Mountain-mahogany

  • Scrub Oak

  • Evergreen

  • Monument

  • Transition to Ponderosa Pine

  • Grassland

  • Mountain-mahogany

  • Scrub Oak

  • Boulder

  • Golden

~5,500’ to ~6,000’

1 Elevations noted are rough estimates – actual elevation limits depend on latitude, aspect, and other local factors; elevations generally lower in northern Front Range and on north-facing slopes, higher in southern Front Range and on south-facing slopes (e.g., Upper limit of Lower Montane ~7,500’ in Larimer vs. ~8,500’ in El Paso)

2 May include: Ponderosa Pine, Douglas-fir (up to ~8,000’), Aspen, Blue Spruce, Limber Pine, Engelmann Spruce, Sub-alpine Fir

Note: Riparian zones are included and considered in each life zone in which they are found

The Lower Montane is the Roundtable’s highest priority ecosystem for landscape-scale ecological restoration.

Risk of ignition / fire spread

HRV2 well understood?

Difference from HRV2?


General elevations1

Front Range ecosystems




  • Alpine

~9,000-9,500’ to ~11,500’

  • Sub-alpine

~8,000’ to ~9,000-9,500’

  • Upper Montane

~6,000’ to ~8,000’

  • Lower Montane

~5,500’ to ~6,000’

  • Lower Ecotone

1 Elevations noted are rough estimates – actual elevation limits depend on latitude, aspect, and other local factors

2 Historical Range of Variability in terms of vegetation characteristics; fuel composition; fire frequency, severity and pattern; and other associated disturbances

Front range lives and resources remain at risk
Front Range Lives and Resources Remain at Risk Montane restore forest structures

Natural and economic resources


Water and safety

  • 4.2 million acres of forests6 (53% of all land types7) including 2 million acres of habitat for 31 species of concern5

  • 80% of Front Range forests have recreation opportunities5 attracting some of Colorado’s 28 million overnight visitors spending $10 billion annually, making tourism the second- highest employment sector in the state, with 143,000 jobs3

  • $5 million per year of available biomass from forest treatments12

  • 881 communities1

  • 2 million people(more than 40% of Colorado’s population)2

  • More than 700,000 homes3

  • 1,246 essential water supply infrastructures (intakes4, reservoirs, transbasin diversions)

  • 4.2 million acres of forest watersheds important for drinking water (65% at risk for post-fire erosion)5

  • 1,775 miles of roads8

  • 1,573 miles of transmission lines

  • 664 miles of gas pipeline9

  • 122 communications towers10

  • Federal Register (as of January 4, 2001)

  • 2005 Census (ESRI)

  • SERGoM (Spatially Explicit Regional Growth Model) version `12 June 2008 (Theobald) 100m

CDPHE, 2009

Colorado State Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. 2009. Colorado Statewide Forest Assessment (in preparation).

LANDFIRE, 2006 (Includes PJ and shrubs)

  • ESRI, 2007

  • TIGER: USCB. 2006

  • Ventyx, December 2009

  • FAA, 2009

  • “State spending on tourism a hot potato for lawmakers,” Rocky Mountain News, January 12, 2009.

  • 166,000 bdt/y (Jefferson County Biomass Facility Feasibility Study, McNeil Technologies Inc , January 2005 ) * $30

The front range roundtable
The Front Range Roundtable Montane restore forest structures

The Front Range Roundtable was formed to “serve as a focal point for diverse stakeholder input into efforts to reduce wildland fire risks and improve forest health through sustained fuels treatment along the Colorado Front Range.”


Ecological Restoration Goals

Fire Risk Mitigation Goals

The Front Range roundtable has reached consensus that 1.5 million acres of Front Range forests require treatments to reduce fire risk and/or achieve ecological restoration.


~400,000 acres

~400,000 acres

~700,000 acres

Overlap of goals

2009 map of priorities accomplishments vs 2006 recommendations
2009 Map of Priorities: Accomplishments vs. 2006 Recommendations

Notes on methods

Data collected back to 2004 to our best available knowledge (received for treated acres separately from planned acres as shown)

Excludes private land treated without the assistance of the CSFS

Excludes county lands treated in Park, Teller, Douglas, El Paso, and Grand.

Some of these areas have been treated with prescribed or natural burn and may not require additional near-term treatment. Some of these areas have been treated mechanically but still require prescribed or natural burn to achieve restoration.

Different databases are used between units/agencies. Data is comparable within a unit, but not between units. This should be resolved for 2009 and future years.

Source: Map by USFS-ARP

Treatment accomplishments by county as of 2008 vs 2006 roundtable recommendations
Treatment Accomplishments by County as of 2008 vs. 2006 Roundtable Recommendations

Data underlying the monitoring map on the prior slide:

Progress towards the roundtable vision
Progress Towards the Roundtable Vision Roundtable Recommendations

Direct Roundtable Successes

Launched the self-sustaining Woodland Park Healthy Forest Initiative (WPHFI) with seed funds of $75,000 provided by Roundtable members and partners, which the WPHFI leveraged into an additional $175,000 in other funding

Helped submit a winning proposal to the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) for an additional $1 million for Front Range National Forests in FY10, $3.4 million in FY11 and $3.1 million in FY12 (with the possibility of further allocations).

Partners’ successes consistent with recommendations

Long term stewardships contracts: Arapaho-Roosevelt and Pike-San Isabel (3,000 acres/yr for 10 years)

Increased federal funding for on the ground treatments: $1.8 mm more in 2008 than in 2006; $1 million in 2009 ARRA funds

Biomass utilization: bioheating in Gilpin, Boulder, and Park counties; planned in El Paso; 22 slash sites for private landowners across Front Range

CWPPs: 75 Front Range CWPPs approved (out of 151 completed in Colorado)

Policies: Passage of state legislation authorizing the creation of local Forest Improvement Districts

Scorecard of roundtable s vision
Scorecard of Roundtable’s Vision Roundtable Recommendations

  • Significant progress made


  • Some progress made


  • Initial progress made



  • Needs attention

  • Roundtable Goals (2006)

  • 2009

  • 2010

  • 2011

  • 2012

  • Recommended initiatives

Increase funding for forest treatments

  • Identify new state and local funding sources for treatments on state and private land.

  • Increase forest treatment incentives for private landowners.

  • Advocate for additional federal funding for Front Range forest treatments.

  • Increase appropriate application of prescribed fire and wildland fire use as a management tool.

  • Increase utilization of woody biomass for facility heating.

  • Increase contract sizes and durations with stewardship contracts on federal land.

  • Change local policy to limit the growth of fire risk in the Wildland-Urban Interface.

  • Promote the development of Community Wildfire Protection Plans for Front Range communities-at-risk.

  • Adopt a clear and common framework for prioritizing treatments.

  • Convene follow-on Roundtable to ensure implementation of recommended initiatives.

















Reduce the cost of forest treatments









Ensure local leadership and planning













Set clear priorities and ensure progress against common goals





  • Source: Most initiatives were rated by a poll at the September 18, 2009 Quarterly Roundtable meeting of 37 attendees from 24 organizations representing 11 stakeholder groups. Ratings for initiatives 3, 5, and 6 were increased by one level at the December 2, 2010 Executive Team meeting. Ratings for initiatives 3, 5, and 6 were raised on level at the March 4, 2011 Roundtable meeting; 2012 assessment made at Q4-12 meeting Nov. 30, 2012.

Roundtable organization

Roundtable Roundtable Recommendations


Mixed teams

Roundtable Organization


Executive Team

Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership (FRFTP)2

Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP)—Fiscal Agent)1

Colorado Watershed Wildfire Protection Working Group (CWWPWG)2


Northern Front Range Mountain Pine Beetle Working Group (NFRMPBWG)2



Community Protection (CP) Team

Biomass Utilization and Slash Sites (BUSS) Team

Landscape Restoration (LR) Team

Wildlife Team

Colorado Forest Restoration Institute (CFRI) 3

The Front Range Roundtable is not itself a legal entity but an informal volunteer coalition with CUSP acting as fiscal agent.

Partner groups are separate from the Front Range Roundtable and have their own organizational structures and initiatives.

Project leader and fiscal agent for the CFLRP Monitoring Teams

Executive team structure and change process
Executive Team Structure and Change Process Roundtable Recommendations

Dedicated to certain organizations1

Dedicated to certain stakeholder groups2

Open to other stakeholder groups3

Size: At least 6 or no more than 9 members4

Current Executive Team Membership

USFS-AR Supervisor

Glenn Casamassa

USFS-PSI Supervisor

Jerri Marr

CSFS State Forester (Acting)

Joe Duda

Conserva-tion NGO

Paige Lewis, The Nature Conservancy

County Commis-sioner—North

Cindy Domenico, Boulder County

County Commis-sioner—South

Sallie Clark

El Paso County


Carol Ekarius, Coalition for the Upper South Platte

Landscape Restoration Team Liaison

Pam Motley, West Range Reclamation

Community Protection Team Liaison

Megan Davis, Boulder County

Process for changing membership:

Term ends (or renews) Dec. 2013

Only when there is a change in the leadership of the organization shown

Terms end (or renew) May 2013

Terms end (or renew) at end of June 2013

  • Three seats are dedicated permanently to these leadership positions from these organizations shown

  • Two seats are dedicated to these stakeholder groups shown with the representing organization rotating each year, as desired

  • One seat is dedicated for the fiscal agent of the Roundtable, one seat is for each of the two main working teams: the Community Protection Team and the Landscape Restoration Team. One or two seats are open to additional or other stakeholder groups with the stakeholder type and/or representing organization rotating each year as desired among: Conservation, County Commissioner, Energy, Insurance, Local Government, Planning, Private, Recreation, Science / Academic, State Government, Timber, or Water

  • Membership size can very depending on the decisions of the Executive team and Roundtable needs / number of applicants

Front range roundtable roles
Front Range Roundtable Roles Roundtable Recommendations

Propose strategic, organizational, and operational priorities for the Roundtable’s consideration at Quarterly meetings

In between Quarterly meetings, make decisions on behalf of the Roundtable as needed

Approve agendas for Roundtable Quarterly meetings (proposed by Facilitator)

Meet once each quarter between Quarterly Roundtable meetings

Executive Team

Schedule, arrange, and facilitate Roundtable Quarterly meetings, Executive Team meetings, and working team meetings

Support working teams in achieving their goals by providing organizational, administrative, and logistical support (e.g., keeping work plans) —not content or legwork

Act as the central point of contact for all Roundtable internal and external communications (e.g., email distribution list, website maintenance)


Execute on the Roundtable’s strategic goals, according to work plans developed jointly by the teams

Present progress updates at Quarterly Roundtable meetings

Attend working team meetings as scheduled, typically two calls per month with some in person meetings as determined by the team

Working Teams

Attend quarterly Roundtable meetings and, when required, approve or change proposals by the Executive Team

Share relevant announcements and updates to Quarterly Roundtable meetings; productively contribute to discussions, honoring the obligation to dissent when necessary

Volunteer for working teams if able and/or want to see something done by the Roundtable


Front range roundtable participants through the years
Front Range Roundtable Participants Through the Years Roundtable Recommendations

Last updated Mar. 2013: Since 2006, 438 people from 150 organizations have participated in the Roundtable (210 active subscribers to email list; to join, see www.frontrangeroundtable.org  “Join Us”)

Front range roundtable 2013 2015 goals
Front Range Roundtable 2013-2015 Goals Roundtable Recommendations

2013 Goals

Support status as of March 2013

Executive Team

Annually fundraise at least $50,000

Respond to letter of support requests as needed

  • Facilitated and coordinated by consultants

  • Volunteer-facilitated and coordinated

  • Website support provided by consultants

Community Protection (CP) Team [draft goals]

Consistent Communication and Outreach Initiative: Limit the growth of fire risk in the wildland urban interface by developing a consistent message around wildfire mitigation issues and a comprehensive outreach and education initiative

Work with insurance companies to standardize insurance guidelines for defensible space and home initiation zone

Biomass Utilization and Slash Sites (BUSS) Team

  • Volunteer-facilitated and coordinated

Share information on a monthly basis and by email about biomass utilization developments across the Front Range (via monthly calls)

Serve as the Front Range CFLR project multi-party monitoring group

Develop an adaptive management process and recommendations

Revise the June 2011 CFLR monitoring plan (through addendums until funding identified for a re-write)

  • Facilitated and coordinated by consultants

Landscape Restoration (LR) Team

By Spring 2014, recommend a wildlife monitoring plan for the CFLRP by prioritizing an abridged list of species to monitor, hypothesizing expected post-treatment population trends for each target species, and proposing data collection and monitoring methods for each target species, with budgets

Wildlife Team

  • Facilitated and coordinated by consultants

40 Year Treatment Plan

10. Goal to be defined today

  • None

11. Goal to be defined today

  • None

Prescribed Fire Initiative

12. Goal to be defined today

Policy Initiative

  • None

  • 13. Work with a community to develop a project plan and attract funding for a turn-key project in

  • a priority landscapes

  • 14. Update the Front Range 10-County map of completed treatments

Implementation initiatives

  • None