Time to Get to Work

Our updated Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) is finally here!!  Ya-hoo!!  After a lot of hard work by a lot of hardworking and passionate scientists, foresters, firefighters, local agencies and organizations, community organizers and neighbors, the Coal Creek Canyon Fire Protection District (CCCFPD) finally has its updated CWPP.  As we’ve shared previously, this document will act as a resource for the whole district and will enable us to build a safer and more resilient community in the event of a wildfire.

 

This update has been over a year in the making, and we are incredibly grateful to the CCCFPD for making the decision to fund this critical update and to the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) that helped with that funding. Thank you also to all the community members that took the time to review the draft and provide their valuable feedback to make it even better.

 

Now it’s time to get to work…

 

The updated CWPP is FULL of information about why we need to do the work and how it should be done.  Consequently, it is a very long document.  The context is important, but the purpose is to prioritize our activity to ensure we are focused on the work that is going to have the most impact.  Because of the way this CWPP was drafted, the recommendations target protecting the things that are important to us as a community that were captured primarily through a community survey and focus group meetings. Our partners at The Ember Alliance used scientific modeling to translate those values into initial project recommendations that should be the most effective at addressing those concerns and risks. In addition to the more generalized recommendations (for example, home ignition zone treatments), the updated CWPP has:

  • Prioritized Community-Wide Treatments which are the top recommendations for treatments that address the risks for the community as a whole. In upcoming articles we’ll discuss each of these in detail.
  • Prioritized Plan Unit Specific Recommendations which detail the specific risks in each plan unit and the recommendations to address them.

 

It will take a village to get this work done!  All of us have a part to do, and we can make it as big or as small as we need. Fortunately, we do not have to do the work alone!  We are already blessed with many local organizations that are dedicated to the work of wildfire mitigation: Blue Mountain Forest Stewardship Initiative, Crescent Park Community Fire Protection Association, Saws & Slaws, and other less formal groups that will be able to use this updated CWPP to prioritize activity across their areas of service.  We are also actively recruiting Community Ambassadors who will act as a resource within plan units to share information, coordinate activity toward the recommendations, and help individuals to be able to do the work.

 

As a result of the recommendations in this CWPP update, the CCCFPD has decided to form an CWPP Implementation Committee that will be focused on the task of enabling the community to implement the recommendations in the CWPP.  The committee will be primarily community members who will engage the appropriate agencies, organizations, and homeowners to facilitate getting the work done. This is where we’ll be able to coordinate activity with CSFS, USFS, CDOT, Boulder Wildfire Partners, Jeffco and Gilpin counties, neighboring fire districts, Boulder Watershed Collective, Boulder and Jeffco Conservation Districts, our local utilities, and more.  Dedicated attention to implementation is something we’ve never had before and will have a real impact on ensuring the work gets done!

 

My personal dream is that in five years, when we are required to make an update to maintain our eligibility for grant funding, that we will be able to list the recommendations in the CWPP that we finished, and we’ll be able to turn our attention to the next priorities that will continue to move the needle toward resiliency and safety in our community. There is a lot of work to do, so I know we won’t be done in five years. (In fact, I doubt there is a “done!”)  However, I also know that the priorities identified in this CWPP are effective, valuable, and important.

 

We are hosting a CWPP Community Meeting on May 2nd to introduce the updated CWPP to the community. We’ll make a recording of it available on our website. Links to the full document are available on our website at www.CoalCreekCWPP.org as well as an abbreviated online version that highlights the key points. Please take the time to look at it and think about what is important to you and where you’d like to see work get done. The CWPP Community Outreach Team and Community Ambassadors are here to help you connect with the resources you need to get started.  If you are interested in being on the CWPP Implementation Committee or being a Community Ambassador, please contact us CWPPforCCC@gmail.com.  Let’s get to it!!

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