The Natural Resources committee of RWEACT is working with the USFS Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Implementation Team to employ actions identifed by the severity of burned areas, Values at Risk, and high-priority restoration projects.

Team Leader - Emma Reesor, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Foundation

Map representing the burn severity of the West Fork Complex Fire one year after the fire:

Rio Grande National Forest draft forest plan and draft environmental impact statement:


2015 monitoring the water quality and stream ecosystem impacts

Witnessing Real Ecosystem Recovery
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2015 Forest Health Fact Sheet

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Date added: 2016-02-05

2015 Aerial Survey Results for Colorado

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Date added: 2016-02-05

2014 Forest Health Fact Sheet

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Date added: 2015-02-27

Addressing the Impacts of Wildfire on Water Resources

Fact Sheet No. 6.706 - Colorado State University's "Natural Resources Series | Water"
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Date added: 2014-06-16

Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout

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Date added: 2014-01-28

Soil Erosion Control after Wildfire

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Date added: 2013-08-13

Contour Tree Felling

Contour Tree Felling is a way to reduce the erosive impact of raindrops and the amount of rain water that runs down a slope by cutting Trees such that they fall perpendicular to the main direction of the slope.
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Drainage Tips for Hillside Home Owners

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Erosion Control Netting

Temporary erosion control around the home following a fire
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Straw Mulching

The application of straw as a protective cover over seeded areas to reduce erosion and aid in revegetation or over bare soils that will be landscaped later to reduce erosion.
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Date added: 2013-08-13

Contour Straw Wattles

Contour Straw Wattles are installed in a shallow trench forming a continuous barrier along the contour to intercept water running down a slope.
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Soil Quality Resource Concerns: Hydrophobicity

Soils that repel water are considered hydrophobic
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Date added: 2013-08-13

BAER Team Adam Mike

Dan Dallas of the Rio Grande National Forest requested a BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) team “to identify imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety, property, and critical natural or cultural resources on National Forest System lands and take immediate actions, as appropriate, to manage unacceptable risks.” The purpose of a BAER Team assessment is to determine critical values and threats, risk evaluation and emergency determination, response action prescription and proposals, and documentation and funding requests.

The report prepared by a BAER team is an emergency stabilization document that specifies treatments created by an interdisciplinary team of specialists during or immediately after the containment of a wildfire event. Specialists such as hydrologists, rangeland management specialists, biologists, archaeologists, and soil scientists as well as other potential professionals are assigned to prepare a BAER report. The effectiveness of the implementation of a BAER report relies on USDA Forest Service access to funding and to community involvement and leverage of additional funds and support.

Management Objectives for Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

  • Implement Communication Plan for emergency preparedness.
  • Reduce the threat of downstream flooding, erosion, and debris movement.
  • Reduce the impacts to soil productivity and hydrological function.
  • Reduce the threat of hazards trees for public safety, road access and work crews.
  • Reduce the threat to critical wildlife habitats and populations.
  • Implement mitigation efforts to protect remaining USDA Forest Service infrastructure.
  • Encourage private landowners to work with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to prepare for and mitigate indirect fire effects such as flooding and debris flows.

BAER Report for the West Fork Complex fire on the Rio Grande National Forest