Eagle County forest restoration effort launched
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation announced a collaborative initiative designed to support large-scale restoration and enhancement efforts of National Forest lands in the Vail and Eagle River valleys Thursday.
The initiative aims to develop a roadmap of forest health projects on and around the White River National Forest. The intent of the initiative is to prioritize and implement projects that restore local forest health. This will be accomplished by bringing nonprofit partners, community members, stakeholders and the Forest Service together this spring to discuss and develop a plan.
Work on the first project under the initiative is slated to begin this summer, with efforts focused on a section of Homestake Creek in the upper Eagle River Valley.
“We will repair trails and bridges, rehabilitate campsites that are affecting conditions along the creek, improve fish habitat, cut hazard trees infested by mountain pine beetle, and plant trees in campgrounds to get a jumpstart on the future forest,” said District Ranger Dave Neely.
All of the work will be accomplished with support from partner organizations including the Eagle River Watershed Council, Student Conservation Association, Eagle County Youth Corps, and is generously supported by the National Forest Foundation’s Ski Conservation Fund and Vail Resorts’ Echo program.
The National Forest Foundation’s Ski Conservation Fund raises money through voluntary contributions from guests at participating ski resorts throughout the country. Over the last four years, the program has raised over $3.5 million including guest donations and a match by the the foundation. These funds are always been invested in on-the-ground projects completed by local nonprofit organizations. Vail Resorts has been a long-standing and significant partner of the program, and to launch this new collaborative initiative, Vail Resorts Echo has committed close to $200,000 from their partnership with NFF and the Ski Conservation Fund to support the restoration work at Homestake Creek.