Elkhorn Creek Forest Health Initiative


Project Background

In 2015, CPRW partnered with Larimer County Conservation Corps, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Ben Delatour Scout Ranch and The Nature Conservancy, collectively forming the Elkhorn Creek Forest Health Initiative (ECHI). ECFHI formed to test the effectiveness of integrating volunteer/new sawyers with professional sawyers to design and implement a forest health project that met multiple objectives including: reducing high intensity wildfire risk, protecting water quality, improving forest resilience, and increasing local sawyer capacity. The project started at the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch, a 3,200 ac Forest Legacy Conservation Easement. In 3 years we have treated > 300 acres of high priority forest & our partner, TNC, implemented a prescribed fire on > 100 acre. The project has successfully reduced wildfire hazard in the area and we look forward to expanding to surrounding land in the Elkhorn drainage. 



The Nature Conservancy, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Larimer County Conservation Corps (LCCC), and the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch (BDSR).


Project Goals

  • Reduce wildfire risk
  • Protect water quality to Elkhorn Creek & the Poudre
  • Improve forest resiliency
  • Increase forestry local skill



Each year, our partners at TNC and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute (CFRI) collect monitoring data using the CFRI protocol to evaluate fire mitigation effectiveness at our projects sites. 

Effects of treatments on wildfire behavior

Results from the September 2017 prescribed fire on surface fuels



2017 Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Award


Stories From the Field

“My time at the Boy Scout Ranch working as a sawyer assistant crew leader was a tremendous experience. I worked along with great individuals gaining knowledge of wilderness preservation, fire mitigation, and furthering my technical skills with hand and power tools. As well, I made a lot of friends here and grew a further appreciation for the outdoors. Working at the Boy Scout Ranch benefited me in my future for it has set me on a path to perform my first season of Wildland Firefighting this summer and off season has helped propel me on the path to becoming an arborist. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my experience in the Larimer County Conservation Corps working at the Boy Scout Ranch.”   
- Jacob Gardner, former Larimer County Conservation Corps Crew Leader and current member of the Berthoud Wildland Fire Team


Completion Date

Ongoing since Summer 2015