Boulder Ranger District Forest Health Projects

At one time Rocky Mountain forests were maintained naturally with frequent fires. In the absence of natural fire, forests have grown more uniformly dense. Trees compete with one another for space, sunlight, water and nutrients; they are stunted and susceptible to insect and disease outbreaks.

For more information take a look at this printable flyer.

The Forest Service is working to restore healthy forest ecosystems. The list below includes projects and areas that either have been implemented or are expected to be implemented in the near future.

Projects (NEPA decisions): The project area and proposed actions that are analyzed through the National Environmental Policy Act process and public involvement.

  • James Creek Fuel Reduction Project – including National Forest System Lands in Boulder County roughly from Gold Hill Road north to the South Saint Vrain Canyon (Colorado Highway 7) and east from the Peak to Peak Highway (Colorado Highway 72) to the forest boundary, plus two small areas west of Highway 72.
  • Saint Vrain Fuel Reduction Project – including National Forest System Lands in Boulder County from the South Saint Vrain Creek north to Johnny Park Road and from Rocky Mountain National Park’s boundary to the eastern forest boundary.
  • Lump Gulch Fuel Treatment Project – including National Forest System Lands in Gilpin County and Boulder County generally south from Nederland to the boundary between Boulder Ranger District and Clear Creek Ranger District and from South Beaver Road to one mile west of Rollinsville.
  • Gold Hill Fuel Reduction Project – including National Forest System lands in Boulder County at the intersection of Gold Hill Road and the Switzerland Trail.
  • Sugarloaf Fuels Reduction Project - including areas from Ridge Road and St Anton to Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Forsythe 2 Project including National Forest lands in Boulder County between Nederland and Gross Reservoir

Task Orders: The smaller implementation areas of the project decision. Sometimes one task order may include projects that were part of two different NEPA decisions.

  • Mattoons Task Order: (Sept. 21, 2017)Work is complete on 300 acres of fuels reduction on the Roosevelt National Forest near Meeker Park and Jamestown. The project helped improve forest health and reduce the risk of wildfire to nearby communities and watersheds. Treatments included thinning mixed conifer, expanding aspen stands and creating small patch cuts in lodgepole pine stands. The vegetation that was cut was piled to burn, after curing, during winter conditions. The projects are part of two landscape-scale planning efforts, including the St. Vrain Fuels Reduction Project and the James Creek Fuels Reduction Project.
  • Horse Creek Task Order (Oct. 12, 2017) - Work is complete near Gold Hill and Meeker Park to help improve forest health and reduce the risk of detrimental wildfire to neighboring communities and water supplies. Work was completed to reduce undergrowth and open up spacing between tree canopies. The first project site was located 2 miles west of Gold Hill, between Gold Hill Road and Mt. Alto Picnic Area, adjacent to Switzerland Trail. The second project site was located just south of Meeker Park Campground. The contractor removed the majority of the cut timber and smaller material was piled to burn during winter months. Piles take at least a year to cure before they are ready to burn and work is still underway for this aspect of the project. The entire project treated 135 acres. The activities are a part of two environmental analyses: the Gold Hill Fuel Reduction Project and the St. Vrain Fuel Reduction Project.
  • Cottonwood Task Order (Aug. 2018) - Work will begin in Spring/Summer of 2019 on 378 acres of tree thinning by chainsaw in the Button Rock Reservoir area near Lyons and between the Peaceful Valley and Glacier View Ranch areas near Jamestown. Thinned trees will be piled to burn in winter months or cut into smaller pieces and scattered. The work northeast of Button Rock Reservoir includes 128 acres and the area west of Glacier View Ranch includes 250 acres. The project is expected to take up to two months to complete, and depending on conditions, work could occur through the end of October. Operational hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. These projects are part of the St. Vrain and James Creek NEPA decisions.
  • Lumpy Tung Task Order (Aug. 2018): Work is complete on 49 acres of tree thinning in areas near Rollinsville and South Beaver Creek Road in Gilpin County (near the Wheeler and Mountain Meadows subdivisions). Thinned trees and slash will be piles to burn. This work will be underway in winter months. These projects are part of the Lump Gulch NEPA decision.