WILDFIRE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION
The Calwood fire changed our land forever - but we believe that it also created opportunity for our organization and our community.
We plan to transform our land into a research and education center for fire ecology, restoration, and fire mitigation to further the regional understanding of how fires are affecting the Front Range. This will include work to:
Integrate wildfire ecology into our time-tested K-12 programs;
Engage high school students in authentic research where they can help to further scientific knowledge on fire mitigation and restoration;
Partner with universities and land management agencies on wildfire ecology, restoration, and mitigation research projects;
Offer workshops for private landowners about fire mitigation; and
Implement and monitor long-term restoration projects conducted by volunteers and professionals.
We have engaged experts from CSU, CU, Boulder County, State Forest Service, US Forest Service, Left Hand Watershed Center, and The Nature Conservancy to help guide us with this new and exciting wildfire research and education center.
Our vision is that with research, restoration, engagement, and education, Cal-Wood can help the West to be better prepared for future massive wildfires that we are experiencing due to climate change.
PILOT PROJECT WITH THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
The Nature Conservancy 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.