Are you a good neighbor? BLM sure is! Learn about our Good Neighbor Authority and how it helps communities along the front range

Brittany Sprout, Public Affairs Specialist

With over 668,000 acres of public lands to manage, BLM Colorado Rocky Mountain District prioritizes fuels treatments in the San Luis Valley and Royal Gorge areas. With the help of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding, BLM has been able to reduce fuels on federal, state, and private lands through partnerships and agreements. While the broken or isolated land patterns of BLM lands in the Rocky Mountain District can make these areas hard to treat. Partnerships under the Good Neighbor Authority have allowed us to expand our treatment areas and provide safer, better experiences for the public.

Under the Good Neighbor Authority (GNA), BLM partners with Colorado State Forest Service to treat fuels on BLM and private lands. GNA allows federal and state resources to improve large areas around communities regardless of ownership, creating more effective fuels treatments across the state. BIL funding allowed BLM to fund six times the amount of hazardous fuels work than before.

A photo of a landscape with small trees and grasses.
The North Tracy Canyon before fuels treatments.
A landscape with some grasses and snow.
The North Tracy Canyon after fuels treatments. Small trees and shrubs have been removed. If a fire were to happen here, there would now be less fuel available to feed to fire.

Under GNA, BLM has targeted more than 400 acres of timber salvage on both BLM and private lands on Poncha Pass, south of Salida. These treatments will remove dead and dying Douglas Fir in Gunnison Sage-grouse habitat. Since treatment began, aspen regeneration has already started in some areas. An addition 200 acres of treatment are planned over the next year and has been primarily funded by BIL. We are also removing Douglas Fir and Pinyon Pine from sagebrush parks on Poncha Pass. These treatments will retain Sage-grouse habitat and remove perches for potential predators. This project will take several years and covers over 2,500 acres.

The BIL funded North Tracy Canyon mastication project adjacent to private lands and USFS lands completed treatment on 880 acres with more locations remaining along private lands. BLM is coordinating with Colorado State Forest Service to finish treatments on these private lands to further protect the area. BLM also finished developing a new Community Assistance grant with the Colorado State Forest Service, which would invest $500,000 in treating private lands adjacent to federal/state treatments. Over 700 acres of public and private lands in the Rock Creek area approximately 10 miles southwest of Monte Vista, CO will be treated. Overall, fuels treatments in this area will improve safety within the wildland urban interface, improve fire suppression options, and create a more resilient landscape in the San Luis Valley.

A landscape with large machinery.
The Grand Canyon Hills mastication and seeding started in 2021 and is an ongoing project through the GNA. Funds contributed by the Muley Fanatics Foundation made this partnership possible with BLM, the State, and the National Wild Turkey Federation to improve the landscape.

BLM plans to continue investing BIL funding into our communities and our partners to create resilient public lands in Colorado. BIL funding has allowed us to further strengthen our relationships with the communities we serve, and we look forward to finding new opportunities to improve your public lands.

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