In the Yampa Valley, our forests, grasslands, streams, and wetlands play a vital role in natural climate solutions (e.g., sequestering carbon and providing healthy watersheds). Our changing climate has put stress on these important systems with 2021 marking an exceptionally bad wildfire year here in Yampa Valley. The Muddy Slide Fire in South Routt burned almost 4,100 acres.
The intensity of the fire destroyed pinecones, the seed source for lodgepole pines, making natural regeneration difficult. To assist reforestation efforts in this area, the Yampa Valley Climate Crew convened a crew of 21 volunteers and U.S. Forest Service staff for three days mid-June. The team planted 3,150 lodgepole pine seedlings on six acres of the 2021 Muddy Slide Fire site. The lodgepole pine trees will help stabilize and control erosion on steep slopes and support the return of biodiversity in the burned area.
The three days of volunteer work was part of a larger effort that saw 55,000 trees planted on over 100 acres of the burn scar.