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By AJ Chalom
In mid-July, members of Foundation Beyond Belief voted to approve a Crisis Response for areas affected by the Colorado Wildfires. We chose to donate to the volunteer fire departments to help them replenish their supplies after their firefighting efforts were finished. One of the beneficiaries was the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department (RCVFD).
Walker Bristol described the High Park Fire: “[Fire Chief] Bob Gann ... posted a reflection to the RCVFD website: ’The High Park Fire certainly eclipses anything we have seen.’
Not only houses, buildings, and a community were burned—a forest and a watershed were also affected by the fire. Our current Natural World beneficiary LightHawk describes one mission in their newsletter, Waypoints. “[T]he High Park fire burned ... more than 87,000 acres. The fire burned a large portion of the Poudre River Watershed, which serves as a primary source of water for the cities of Fort Collins and Greeley, as well as several rural water districts. With extensive areas of burned timber and unstable soils, heavy late summer rains caused severe mudslides that closed roads and made the Poudre River run black.”
LightHawk reports, “[S]cientists, nonprofit organizations, and local government leaders got together and formed the High Park Restoration Coalition to ensure coordinated, well-planned restoration efforts. LightHawk was there in the early stages of the effort, flying leaders of the coalition over the burned area to inform their planning efforts ...
LightHawk’s Mission Map describes three missions, on August 30, October 7, and October 15, that related to this project. Search the map for dates and select “Wildlands” to find out more.