Rocky Mountain Field Institute Leading Waldo Restoration Efforts
Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) is a Colorado Springs-based land conservation organization focused on completing trail and restoration projects and environmental education throughout the region and greater Southern Colorado. Our projects include restoring and revegetating burn areas, building and repairing trails, restoring wetlands, protecting alpine lands, improving fish habitat, planting native vegetation, and lots more.
RMFI began burn restoration work in Blodgett Peak Open Space last fall. With the help of UCCS and Colorado College students, acres of heavily burned area were restored with invasive species removal, slope stabilization, and seeding. Additionally, slope-stabilizing log erosion barriers (“LEBs”) and in-channel cross vane structures were placed to stabilize key drainages that are the source of sedimentation into a nearby neighborhood.
Burn area restoration focuses on two key components: 1) Slope stabilization. With the loss of vegetation due to the fire, there is no root structure to hold soil in place. It then takes very little erosional force to begin transporting sediment down stream. 2) Revegetation. Once soils are stabilized, crews can initiate vegetation growth by seeding or planting. The topography of an area, soil burn severity, and proximity to valuable resources dictate the degree of stabilization, and therefore the type of structures, required.
RMFI will continue Waldo burn restoration efforts in 2013 in partnership with the Forest Service, Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation, as well as our nonprofit partners. We look forward to providing numerous volunteer opportunities for the community to get involved in Waldo restoration starting in the spring. Visit www.rmfi.org/events/calendar to register for a volunteer day.