The scene was eerily appropriate for the weekend before Halloween. Charred skeletons of trees stood like tombstones against the barren soil. It is one thing to see the Hayman Burn from the highway as one speeds to a new fishing spot near Deckers. It is quite another thing to be standing in the middle of the Hayman Burn and taking in the immensity of the destructive power of fire. On October 28 a crew of 16 CCTU volunteers and 16 volunteers from UCD joined together to help a small part of that area to recover. After a 4×4 trip of about a mile, and with the help of our partners at CUSP, we seeded drainages that have yet to recover from that 2002 fire. The rains of fall and the snows of winter will help nourish the mix of quickly sprouting sterile oats and native grasses that we sowed over almost two acres. These grasses will help stabilize the soil and stop a portion of the tons of silt that annually wash down the slopes into Horse Creek and then move on into the South Platte River. There are hopeful signs of progress. In some spots the native grasses and shrubs have begun to return on their own. The occasional young fir tree can be seen among the charred trunks. With our help and the steady progress of nature this area will eventually recover.
The CCTU Board of Directors would like to thank all the CCTU volunteers who have helped make the five conservation projects of 2017 so successful. The Board will be having its annual planning meeting in early January. One of the topics for discussion will be conservation projects for next year. If you have any suggestions or comments about conservation projects please send them to George Franklin. He can be reached at (303) 902-9827 or at email@example.com.