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 meet all required National Environmental 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 other agencies, counties and communities to develop plans for managing vegetation and fuels.
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.
All prescribed burn projects are implemented under specific fuel (vegetation) and weather conditions to provide for firefighter and public safety and successfully meet the objectives of the project.
Benefits of prescribed fire are: creating diversity in in plant and trees needed by wildlife; reducing hazardous fuel build-up that contribute to large, intense wildfires; preparing land for new growth; helping certain plants and trees germinate; and naturally thinning overcrowded forests and rangelands.
A thriving productive habitat for all wildlife is the most important factor to sustain their productivity. Long term fire management which includes prescribed fire projects, is required to maintain healthy ecosystems. Managing fire, the land, and habitat is a complex effort. No single agency or group is able to fully implement all the necessary work to maintain and restore healthy habitat. It takes many people, organizations and agencies working cooperatively to do the job.
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. 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.