Here’s an article from the Denver Post, Replanting forests in Colorado wildfire areas has benefit for water supply from April 13.
It’s interesting to compare these perspectives on tree planting. I wonder if tree planting post fire has “critics” in Colorado, or the reporter didn’t interview them..???
“There is a direct connection between healthy forests and sustainable supplies for clean water,” Denver Water spokeswoman Stacy Chesney said. “Planting trees will help re-establish the ponderosa pine forests that would otherwise take more than a hundred years to grow naturally.”
“Nature runs the game”
Sediment eroding into streams and the river after rainstorms “increases our cost of treating water” and has forced operational suspensions, Aurora Water spokesman Greg Baker said. “We want to get ahead of this.”
Forest experts say it’s too early to assess the extent to which tree-planting may spur regeneration of forests. Current targets call for replanting across 1,085 Hayman fire acres this year, with the goal of eventually replanting one-third of the burned acres, and also starting on the Buffalo Creek fire area.
Residents who still live in the former forests along the upper South Platte applauded the tree-planting but say federal foresters should have begun this work with greater intensity and focus 10 years ago in the immediate aftermath of the fire.
Drought this spring has helped, because rainstorms trigger erosion, Westcreek resident Steve Schnoes said, out with his wife, Tanya, cutting back trees near their home as a precaution in case of a new fire.
“Nature runs the game here,” but planting is a necessary response, Schnoes said. “We’re going to look like the moon if we don’t.”