San Juan National Forest Receives Regional Award

The San Juan National Forest was recognized earlier this month by the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region in Denver with a Regional Forester’s Honor Award for strengthening communities and connecting people to the outdoors, and ensuring forests deliver values, uses, products, and services that people want and need.

“I want to thank our employees and partners for their assistance, support and hard work,” said Kara Chadwick, San Juan National Forest Supervisor. “This award celebrates our ability to multiply our productivity through team work to support
local communities and improve public lands.”

The San Juan National Forest received the Regional Forester’s Award for “Delivering Benefits to the Public” for:

  • Working with the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership to complete fuels reduction and biomass removal on National Forest lands adjacent to private lands near Pagosa Springs through contracts with small-business contractors employing local residents, while providing monitoring and public education through Firewise of Southwest Colorado and Mountain Studies Institute.
  • Reducing hazardous fuels on additional National Forest acreage and adjacent private lands near Pagosa Springs in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and other partners.
  • Completing 6,000 acres of prescribed burning on federal, private and state lands across the Fosset Gulch landscape near Bayfield, and replanting native seedlings on several thousand acres of the 2002 Missionary Ridge fire scar with funding from the National Forest Foundation.
  • Working to help protect the watersheds of the San Juan, Chama and Rio Grande rivers, which supply water to one million people in southern Colorado and New Mexico, through partnerships with the Rio Grande and Carson national forests, Bureau of Land Management, San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership, Chama Peak Land Alliance, Nature Conservancy, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Colorado State Forest Service, New Mexico Forest Service, Southern Ute Agency and others.
  • Working with the Dolores Watershed and Resilient Forest (DWaRF) Collaborative and Montezuma Firewise Chapter to create more resilient fire-adapted landscapes across jurisdictional boundaries to protect water resources of the Greater Dolores River Watershed.
  • Contracting with local businesses to install a final confluence barrier on Hermosa Creek north of Durango, bringing the total of occupied Colorado River Cutthroat Trout habitat in the Hermosa Special Management Area to 23 miles, the largest contiguous habitat in the entire Colorado River drainage.

The Regional Forester Honor Awards are presented each year for outstanding achievement by Forest Service employees and partners. The San Juan was one of six national forests across the Rocky Mountain Region recognized this year.

“The award winners have taken notable actions to ensure that forest and grasslands provide Americans benefits such as clean water and air, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and more,” said Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Brian Ferebee. “Their contributions have, and will continue to make a difference for present and future generations.”

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