When you step out into a Colorado summer day in the mountains, there are a few things you will notice. You will look up and notice the cloudless blue sky above you. You will hear the river flowing in the background and the light steps of a deer passing by. You will see the wildflowers at your feet before looking up at the vast mountain peaks in front of you. The term “Colorful Colorado” might come to mind.
While it is easy to take for granted, there are countless people behind the scenes that allow locals and visitors to enjoy this beauty. Communities, organizations, government entities, and more have made it their mission and work with each other to conserve the nature and wildlife of Colorado.
From the trails we hike to the water we drink, there are people working hard to ensure that our experience is not only amazing today, but for generations to come.
AMIGOS wants to take a deep dive into what conservation and environmental stewardship looks like in Colorado. Together, we will learn from these activists, entrepreneurs, and conservationists who advocate for the state’s longevity.
One of the topics the program will look at is wildfire mitigation, rehabilitation, and restoration. In 2020, Colorado had two of the largest fires in the state’s history in addition to many more. These fires destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of land and impacted countless people.
Almost 2 million Colorado residents live in what’s called the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), which is “the area where structures and other human developments meet or intermingle with wildland vegetation, which puts them at risk of wildfire” (Colorado State Forest Service). With that being said, while they can be devastating, wildfires are key to maintaining healthy forests and ecosystems around the state. Therefore, different stakeholders are working to create fire-adapted communities and increase forest resiliency.
But what makes a community “fire-adapted” and how do we increase “forest resiliency”? The answer is a complex web of strategies implemented by passionate people that are eager to share their insight and expertise with you.