Project DescriptionThe Round Mountain Forest Health Demonstration project site is a publicly loved and visited portion of the National Recreation Trail, that is owned by the City of Loveland. This location was chosen as a forest management demonstration site as it is highly visible and accessible to the public. This beautiful forest is predominantly composed of ponderosa pine, but also has dense stands of Douglas-fir, as well as occasional aspen, common juniper, and Rocky Mountain juniper. Results from a pre-restoration forest survey showed 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 to address these issues 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 more characteristic of historic forests, present a lower risk of damage by high-severity wildfire, and are resilient to future disturbance.
It’s important to leave a few dead trees or ‘snags’ per acre when completing forestry projects as these are critical wildlife habitat. One is example is Lewis’s Woodpecker, which prefer making their home in ponderosa pine forests that have burned or have large amounts of standing dead trees.
Educational signage about the project and forest structure will be installed soon!
Before ConstructionRound Mountain pre-treatment. Forest is overly dense threatening recreational and infrastructure values.
Completed our very first forestry project!
Thinned 14 acres of forest in a priority location to reduce wildfire risk, protect Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park, and increase forest health
Created a demonstration site for visitors to learn what forest management projects look like
Hauled off most cut material, removing excess fuel from the landscape