Forest Management Projects

Our approach to forest management

We design management actions that balance ecological and human objectives, with the landowner as a collaborator. We learn from each project through our adaptive management approach, which includes data collection before and after project implementation. Our primary goals are to facilitate ecosystem and community resilience to wildfire and climate change. To achieve these goals, we take a nuanced and holistic approach to forest management that considers:

Forest management project process

The Watershed Center plans and implements forest management projects on private lands in strategic areas across the St. Vrain Watershed. Our forest management project process is outlined below:

Forest Process
Getting to know you and your property
We will conduct property visits with individual landowners to understand current conditions and hear your vision for the property. If we both decide to move forward with a forest management plan, we will ask you to sign a Participation Agreement for Planning. This agreements allows us to visit your property, with notification, to conduct planning efforts. After this Agreement is signed, we will not go onto your property without 24 hours minimum written notice (although our standard is 1-week notice).
Forest management plan
We will write a forest management plan for landowners that want to conduct a forest management project with us. This management plan includes a detailed description of current conditions and recommended management actions. We will collect forest structure data that will be used to inform this plan. Data collection is focused on vegetation, and includes tree size, species, height, and age. Data we collect on your property will never be shared publicly without your written consent. After the plan is drafted, we will meet with you to discuss it and hear your feedback. We view this process as a collaboration with the landowner, so that the plan is ultimately one that we all want to see implemented.
Grant Applications

The Watershed Center will apply for grant funding to support project implementation.

After funding has been awarded, the landowner will re-affirm their commitment to implementing the project by signing a Participation Agreement for Implementation that allows work to occur. We will detail the implementation process with landowners, which includes your review of marked trees at steps 2 and 3, or sooner if desired.

As a non-profit organization, The Watershed Center secures funding through grants, government partners, foundations, corporations, and individual donors. This enables us to carry out steps 1-3 without any expense to the landowner. However, we sincerely appreciate donations which enable us to make a positive difference for our watersheds.

Contact Us

We can’t wait to connect with you!

Chiara Forrester

Forest Program Director

Chiara Forrester
Eric Frederick


The Watershed Center is exemplary in its approach to cross-boundary, collaborative forest restoration. The staff understands that a landscape scale problem requires a landscape scale solution. I also appreciate that they are taking the time to listen to landowner and others’ opinions, and to educate and inform us about the urgent need for restoration in light of recent catastrophic wildfires. I believe this is the only way we can achieve sustained and successful results for our forests and our communities.

Sally Collins

Landowner Resources

Learn how to prepare your home for wildfire with the Colorado State Forest Service’s Home Ignition Zone guide. The science is clear – when it comes to home survivability if a fire is on your property, the area between 0-5 feet from the home is the most critical to mitigate.

Have a defensible space expert walk your property, and become certified with Boulder County Wildfire Partners.

Make an evacuation plan for the people and pets in your household.

Track smoke and learn how to protect yourself with Fire Adapted Colorado’s Smoke Ready resources.

Stay informed about where pile and broadcast burns are happening on the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland with their interactive map.

Learn about Front Range forest management by reading the GTR-373.

Learn about Firewise landscaping.

Funding for forest management planning provided by

Argosy Foundation, Boulder County Wildfire Mitigation Tax, Boulder County, City of Longmont, Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Justin Brooks Fisher Foundation, Left Hand Water District, St. Vrain and Left Hand Water Conservancy District, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Forest Foundation. See a full list of funders here.