A section of forest, trees bare from fire, in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. A large charred tree in foreground. Forest floor is growing, reforestation beginning.

Aerial mulching begins on severely burned areas within the Grizzly Creek Fire

Increased traffic is expected on Coffee Pot Road as crews stage materials

September 18, 2023

The White River National Forest plans to begin aerially applying mulch and soil additives on up to 150 acres within the 32,631-acre Grizzly Creek Fire burn perimeter this fall.

While most of the area burned by the 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire is recovering well naturally, some areas that were severely burned will benefit from this helping hand. This project aims to improve soil health, prevent soil loss and sedimentation, and help reestablish native vegetation communities in areas that were severely impacted by the Grizzly Creek Fire. Areas within the Wagon Gulch, Blue Gulch, and Grizzly Creek Watersheds have been identified for treatment.

In preparation for the upcoming helicopter operations, crews have begun trucking and staging wood products on Coffee Pot Road (NFSR 600). Increased traffic is expected on Coffee Pot Road through early October. Helicopter operations will begin Oct. 1 and continue through the second week of October.

“This exciting restoration project provides us with the opportunity to help protect the Forest’s soil resources, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, and timber stands,” said White River National Forest Soil Scientist Ryan Sparhawk. “Although natural recovery has been successful, areas that were severely impacted by the Grizzly Creek Fire need projects like this to help aid in the recovery process.”

For more information about this project, please visit the project website or call the Eagle Holy Cross Ranger District at 970-827-5715.