Forest Projects

Round Mountain Forest Management


Project Description

The Round Mountain Forest Health Demonstration project site is a publically loved and visited portion of the National Recreation Trail, that is owned by the City of Loveland,. This location was chosen for its highly accessible and highly visible demonstration site for forest management for Northern Colorado and the Big Thompson’s forests.  This beautiful forest is predominantly composed of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), but also has dense stands of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), as well as occasional aspen (Populus tremuloides), common juniper (Juniperus communis), and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum).

Results from a pre-restoration forest survey show a standing fuel load that contains approximately 5x more fuel and 8x more trees per acre (on average) than historic conditions suggest there should be. The unmanaged conditions of this forest put this site, surrounding lands, and infrastructure at risk of large-scale and high severity wildfire. Within only 5 weeks, more than 14 acres of forest thinning was completed. Restoration efforts were aimed at returning the area to more historic conditions through tree thinning, log removal, and lop and scatter techniques. These efforts created a mosaic of open, low-density ponderosa pine stands that are characteristic of managed forests, present a lower risk of damage by high-severity wildfire, and are resilient in future disturbance.

Forest management will start January 1st, 2019 and will be completed by June 30, 2019 with the majority of restoration completed by February 15th.

Get Involved

Join us for two upcoming public events! BTWC and Round Mountain project partners will be hosting two community events to engage Loveland and Big Thompson communities on the ecological and defensible space benefits of forest management in our region.

 

For the Love of the Forest  event series dates coming soon!

  • Big Thompson Forestry Community Planning Workshop – April 2019
  • Round Mountain Forest Health project walking tour- August 2019
Round Mountain

Planned Objectives

The two primary goals of this collaborative project on the City of Loveland, Colorado’s Round Mountain property are to:

Conduct a high priority wildfire resiliency project in the         Big Thompson River Watershed

Build social and community resilience around forest and wildfire management by facilitating discussions and relationship building between community members and forest and fire managers

Pre-restoration Round Mountain exhibits a forest that has not been naturally or human managed in decades, allowing a build-up of fire fuels both on the ground and through dense stands of living trees. Forest treatment for this demonstration project included the removal of immature (non-seeding) trees, dense forest understories, and low hanging branches to reduce fuel loads and replicate historic conditions.


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