June 02, 2007

Forest Fire Show & Tell

The Forest Service apparently has been doing media tours of fire sites, judging from Front Range media. Channel 13 in Colorado Springs featured foresters talking about growing local seedlings for reforestation on the Hayman Burn southwest of Denver -- good forestry practice, but it's not like they are going to re-plant 138,000 acres -- nor should they.

The Rocky Mountain News trumpets that the burn will take 600 years to "recover." And how many times will it burn between now and then? And what is "recovery"?

The big issue up there is the erosive decomposed granite soil in much of the burned area.

Despite the return of grasses, shrubs and other groundcover over more than half the land, the erosion problem continues. For Denver Water, the shedding soil has created a new budgetary black hole.

Dirt traps designed to stop the soil from pouring through Goose and Turkey creeks into Cheesman Reservoir, at the heart of the burn area, are catching more -- not less -- sediment, said Kevin Keefe, who supervises reservoir operations for the utility.

Today M. spotted two school buses and some FS vehicles on the road leaving the 2005 Mason Gulch burn -- another tour?

UPDATE: The Denver Post does its story on the restoration. (Newspaper links may expire.)

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