Since fire crews were able to contain and control the East Troublesome Fire in late 2020, land managers have recognized the challenges that will confront the region for years to come: debris flows and limited forest regrowth.
On Aug. 23, Sen. John Hickenlooper joined several representatives from Northern Water, as well as officials from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado State Forest Service and Grand County. The group of 20-plus held discussions at C Lazy U Ranch, from an overlook that offered a vantage point of Willow Creek Reservoir and the surrounding area, which is one of the most impacted portions within the burn scar.
Properties northwest of Willow Creek Reservoir on Colo. Highway 125 have seen numerous instances of debris flows following monsoon rains in 2021 and 2022, which have frequently led to road closure.
Sen. Hickenlooper toured the area in the wake of the passage of the Inflation Recovery Act, which earmarks funds for projects that will enhance climate-resilience of forests and watersheds. Stakeholders had an opportunity to showcase examples of collaborative initiatives that align with the intent of the Act such as the C-BT Headwaters Partnership and the Kawuneeche Valley Ecosystem Restoration Collaborative. Funding for projects in the area will benefit the ecosystem, as well as downstream properties, infrastructure and water users downstream of the affected lands.
Hickenlooper’s staff produced this video following last week’s stop in the East Troublesome burn area, featuring an interview with the senator from the C Lazy U Ranch site, in which he talks about how some of this funding will be put to use.