Barney Ford Open Space Wildfire Mitigation & Forest Health Initiative
Summit County, the Town of Breckenridge, and The Nature Conservancy in Colorado are collaborating on a forest health project to protect neighborhoods from high-severity wildfires and increase tree diversity in forest habitats.
The partners are testing the potential for increases in aspen trees to act as natural fuel breaks for wildfire at the 46-acre Barney Ford open space site, just outside of downtown Breckenridge. Since aspens are less flammable and have a higher moisture content than conifers, they may act to reduce fire severity. Adding more aspen in forests also has wildlife benefits, as it increases insect and plant biodiversity and creates valuable habitat for elk, moose and deer.