Storm Mountain Forestry & Community Engagement

Project Description

In 2020 BTWC was awarded funds to support defensible space and forest management demonstration sites with landowners in the Storm Mountain communities of Drake, CO. This community area is one of the densest housing areas within the Big Thompson Canyon with over 500 year-round and seasonal residents. Given 2020’s record-breaking fire season in Northern Colorado, active USFS forest management surrounding the community, and resident interest in forest management support, this community was and remains a priority location to increase landowner interest, knowledge, and participation in wildfire risk mitigation work. This project focused on cost-share mitigation work with six landowners in the Storm Mountain area. Treatments were a mix of defensible space and forest thinning and included varied fuel processing treatments including pile building/burning, mastication and chipping, lop and scatter, and utilizing cut material for firewood. In addition to implementing wildfire mitigation work, BTWC and two graduate students from CSU engaged the community to identify challenges and concerns as well as action steps and assets within the community that could be leveraged to address wildfire risk. Through these efforts we helped residents establish a community-led Wildfire Action Group who will continue to engage and activate the community around wildfire preparedness and mitigation.
Forestry Program

Fun Fact

The Storm Mountain Wildfire Action Group or SWAG is a group of community members who have come together with the assistance of BTWC, Coalitions and Collaborative, and Loveland Fire Rescue Authority to address community engagement around wildfire mitigation work. The group is currently working to establish a community chipping program, increase community awareness and engagement around wildfire preparedness, provide medical trainings, and establish effective emergency communication channels.

Project Photos

Storm Mountain

Storm Mountain Today

Storm Mountain and surrounding forests which are a mix of U.S. Forest Service and private ranch land.

BTWC Staff at Storm Mountain

Project Scoping and Planning

BTWC staff worked with landowners to develop specific treatments for each property.

Storm Mountain Landowners

Project Tours

Following completion of projects, BTWC led community tours for others to learn more about the mitigation work.

Community Meetings

Community Planning

BTWC and CSU students hosted community meetings to learn more about mitigation in the community and how we can better help the community achieve their mitigation goals.

Forestry Program
Storm Mountain

Project Accomplishments


Six properties mitigated


Over 1,000 volunteer hours contributed through volunteer days and landowner mitigation efforts

Helped establish a community-led Wildfire Action Group

18.5 acres treated

Learn More

Click through to learn more about the work completed on each of the six mitigated properties