Vegetation and Fuels Management

The BLM develops plans for managing hazardous fuels and wildland fire within Colorado.  Part of the BLM’s responsibility when planning fuels reduction projects is to work with other interagency fire organizations to meet all required National Environmental

Prescribed burn

Protection Act analysis, Threatened and Endangered Species consultations, archaeological and historical resource surveys, and the necessary air-quality protection planning needs. Additionally, BLM Colorado works with counties and communities to develop local plans for managing wildland fires.

Vegetation management projects may be planned across public and private lands in ways adapted to the topography and fuels. Typically, this kind of planning reduces costs and provides protection from wildfire. In some cases where public lands will also benefit, the BLM may share the cost of vegetation treatments on private land and provide technical assistance in project planning. In Colorado, the BLM’s policy is to use the priorities established in the county wildfire management plans to guide the selection and prioritization of fuels management projects on public lands.

The Emergency Stabilization and Burned Area Rehabilitation (ES&R) program focuses on mitigating the impacts wildland fires have on ecosystems and communities. Wildfires, regardless of size, that have the potential of significant damage to a natural or cultural resource require ES&R.

On average, BLM initiates ES&R treatments on six to 10 fires annually. Given our extensive wildland urban interface (WUI), problems with invasive species (e.g. cheat grass), and rugged terrain, most stabilization issues involve planning, soil stabilization (e.g. seeding of native plants) to prevent erosion, and construction of temporary fences and closures to prevent further damage from public use.

Click here for information about prescribed fire projects in Colorado.