The restoration of our land at Cal-Wood is going to be a 5-10 year process and will cost millions of dollars. Restoring our land is a high priority. We are already ‘getting our hands dirty’ with soil stabilization on the 600 burned acres and in ongoing fire mitigation on the other 600 acres of unburned land. We are also establishing innovative partnerships with nonprofits, agencies and universities and recruiting experts to help us plan our path forward.
Aerial mulching is one strategy to restore the whole ecosystem at Cal-Wood. Sixty acres of hazardous trees were removed and mulched on site at Cal-Wood. The mulch was then distributed by helicopter over 240 acres in our moderate to high burn severity areas. This work will reduce post-fire water runoff and erosion in the burned areas while adding nutrients to the soil promoting plant and tree growth.
We are so thankful for the partnership with Boulder County and NRCS for this very important, half million dollar project.
This summer, volunteer projects have been integral to Cal-Wood's restoration. Volunteers have been busy planting willows to help minimize soil erosion and deposits in the creek, fixing hay bales, and seeding grass. A big thanks to these amazing groups:
Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
Mile High Youth Corps
City of Boulder Junior Rangers
First United Methodist Church and Youth Group
BUUMP Youth Program and Church group
Adults and kids from our Latino Family Programs and summer camps
PARTNERSHIP: THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
The Nature Conservancy has launched a research project at Cal-Wood to determine which ponderosa pine seed treatment will be more effective for aerial seeding of burned areas.
Together, we set up transects in a variety of terrain (i.e. exposed slopes, western slopes, upslope of riparian areas). We then laid down different treated seeds including: seeds treated with preserving chemicals like fungicides and insect/mammal deterrents; seeds treated with nutrient mud capsules (dirt balls); and untreated seeds.
After a season, the Nature Conservancy will see which seeds survived and turned into saplings. The treatment with the best success will be selected for aerial seeding (dropped by helicopter!). We will keep you up to date as we get progress reports and look forward to seeing this area come back to life.