The 2022 SWCS International Annual Conference was be held in Denver, Colorado, July 31 to August 3, 2022. The Colorado Chapter hosted conservationists from around the country and the world! The four-day event included workshops and training, presentations, posters, conservation tours, and opportunities to network with others working to conserve our soil and water resources.
Contact Chapter President Amber Wyndham for more information and to get involved.
Fall 2020 – Ranching and Conservation Field Tour
In September, SWCS-Colorado Chapter had the pleasure of combining efforts with the Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management to sponsor a tour at both the 3R Ranch (near Beaulah, CO) and the Brett Gray Ranch (near Rush, CO).
SWCS & SRM members, and participants from the broader Colorado conservation community, spent a day at each ranch learning about the unique ways each has adapted their grazing systems to increase wildlife habitat & plant diversity, improve cattle grazing opportunities, and build up the health of their soils in the process. Congratulations to Reeves & Betsy Brown, Chad Helvee, Lewis Martin, and the many hands who have thrown in their skill, sweat and finances to allow these operations to become examples of healthy, productive lands in our midst. And we are especially grateful to these ranches for being tireless collaborators and good neighbors, offering insights to the many who have come to visit or work on these operations over the years.
All-in, several dozen folks attended some portion of the two-day workshop. Thanks to Ben Berlinger, Emmett Jordan, and Josh Tashiro, and to Patrick O'Neill and to Beth Fortmam for helping guide discussions on these days.
2019 SWCS Annual Workshop – Tragic Fire Ecosystem – 2018 Spring Creek Fire
In October 2019, the SWCS hosted a one-day workshop on the effects that fire disturbance has on forest and rangeland ecosystems as well as ecosystem recovery. The focus of the workshop was the Spring Creek fire that started near Fort Garland, Colorado on June 27, 2018, and burned approximately 108, 046 acres of private and public land. The workshop was held in Laveta and included presentations, a panel discussion and tours of two areas affected by the 2018 Spring Creek Fire. The mayor of Laveta, Doug Brgoch, opened the workshop with background on the Spring Creek Fire and its impact on the LaVeta community. The workshop included speakers with various backgrounds on the effects that fire has on watersheds, flooding, erosion, insect community and plant recovery. Paul Branson, (Wildfire Preparedness Coordinator, LaVeta), Tony Arnold (District Conservationist, NRCS, Walsenburg) and Manuel Molles (Laveta Landowner and retired Ecosystem Ecologist, University of New Mexico) volunteered to serve on the panel and provided insight to areas affected by the Spring Creek Fire. The panel discussion included pre-fire planning, fire mitigation and response network, availability of government assistant programs and post fire recovery. Steve Keppers conducted a tour on the wildfire mitigation and recovery activities at Tres Valles West area where approximately 800 acres was burned. Tony Arnold led the second tour which occurred at the Paradise Acres Subdivision. Several thousand acres burned within the subdivision and around 20 homes were lost.
The Colorado Post-Fire Recovery Playbook is now available as a practical worksheet and guide to assist municipalities, counties, tribes, and water providers in post-fire rehabilitation. This useable Playbook includes:
- 12 specific steps these entities can take before, during, and within the first 30-days of a wildfire to facilitate post-fire rehabilitation,
- a fillable list of critical contacts, allowing users to know exactly who to contact and when, and
- graphics that clearly communicate roles and responsibilities and key funding sources.
Fall 2018 - Soil Health Workshop
In 2018, the chapter hosted a soil health workshop in Alamosa, Colorado.
Colorado Chapter members enjoyed a meal and fellowship at the Colorado Chapter annual meeting in Colorado Springs, CO, November 2015.
Immediate Past–President Rich Rhoades hands the gavel to 2016 President Beth Fortman at Colorado Chapter Annual meeting.