Project DescriptionWaltonia is a small community in the Big Thompson Canyon that has been identified as a priority area for wildfire mitigation due to the steep rock walls that surround the community, its dense forests and housing, and the single ingress/egress access road. When identifying new projects, BTWC not only considers the needs of an area but also the interest of landowners. Waltonia was further prioritized as residents expressed interest in completing forest treatments and defensible space to mitigate wildfire risk. Buy in from landowners is important to ensure that our projects are collaborative, beneficial to the community, and successful. Through a partnered effort with Larimer Conservation District, Peaks to People Water Fund, and Larimer County’s Office of Emergency Management and Sheriff’s Office, BTWC secured funding through the Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program and a Colorado State Forest Service Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation grant. This funding will allow us to treat up to 50 priority acres of forested land in Waltonia and provide residents with various mitigation and preparedness workshops and trainings. We will also work with landowners to coordinate approximately 1 mile of roadway defensible space work which the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office – Initial Attack Module will implement. This roadway treatment will improve critical ingress/egress access for emergency responders and community members in the event of a fire. Finally, the funding will allow Larimer Conservation District to expand their forest treatments in the Pole Hill community, which is adjacent to Waltonia. Creating connectivity between treatments is a priority for us and our partners as our goal is to create landscape scale impacts that improve the overall health and resilience of the watershed rather than just individual areas.
Waltonia was established by a group of homesteaders in 1908 – making it well over 100 years old! The community was divided among shareholders by the Waltonia Home Company, which still exists as a non-profit today that seeks to preserve the natural beauty of the community.
Much of the forested land in and around the Waltonia community has grown dense with large amounts of smaller ladder fuels
Waltonia Fire Mitigation
We’ll be working on this project throughout 2023 and 2024, check back to see our project accomplishments!