From left: Dennis Page, U.S. Forest Service Fire Management Division 3 Chief, San Carlos Ranger District; Ed Skerjanec, BLM Fire Mitigation Specialist; John Grieve, Colorado State Forest Service Supervisory Forester of Forest Planning and Implementation; and Steve Douglas, firefighter and Ember Alliance member.
For more than a decade, the Middle Arkansas Wildfire Prevention Partnership (MAWPP) has worked at the forefront of wildfire mitigation in Fremont, Custer, and Pueblo counties through a collaborative effort among multiple agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado State Forest Service, and local entities and individuals, including firefighters.
As part of a decision to disband, the Partnership’s board of directors decided to transfer to ARWC their remaining assets to support ongoing fire mitigation efforts. During a ceremony at Pueblo Mountain Park, MAWPP board members Amy Daniels and Todd Bell, and long-standing member Steve Douglas, were honored for their dedication to the Partnership’s mission. They volunteered countless hours working to promote fire mitigation throughout the Wet Mountain region at multiple meetings and events in area communities and organized drop-off days at the slash site on Highway 78, aka 12-Mile Road.
To fill the gap left by MAWPP, ARWC has formed a mitigation group in the Middle Ark Basin area to collaborate on fire mitigation and prevention projects. ARWC has also taken over management of the slash site and will continue to organize approximately three drop-off days per year. This continued management includes informing residents about the opportunity to drop off slash to be burned by the U.S. Forest Service personnel.
We are incredibly grateful for all the wildfire mitigation and education work accomplished by MAWPP, and we are honored that they have entrusted us to carry their efforts forward at a time when the risk of catastrophic wildfire continues to grow.