SWCS conference attendees standing by a sign for Braddock Farms

Conference attendees on a tour of Braddock Farms in 2019

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM – EDUCATIONAL TRAINING TOURS
All tours will take place on Wednesday, August 3. Departure and return times are subject to change. Final details will be provided at www.swcs.org/22AC. The tours will give exposure to interesting and informative conservation work happening in the area. Be sure to register early to secure a seat. SWCS reserves the right to cancel a tour that does not have the minimum number of attendees and to change the maximum number of attendees.

Tour #1: Wildfire Mitigation and Recovery in Colorado
Wednesday, August 3
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This tour, organized in tandem with the SWCS Colorado Chapter and the United States Forest Service, will delve into wildfire recovery and mitigation on the Pike National Forest, as well as forest practices related to forest sustainability and resiliency. Wildland fires have the potential to fulfill key ecosystem services, such as improving wildlife habitat and reducing forest undergrowth that can fuel severe wildfires. However, high severity wildfires can threaten human life and safety, homes and infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources. 

According to the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, 20 of Colorado’s 20 largest wildfires have occurred in the last 20 years (since 2001). During the tour, speakers will discuss wildfire recovery, forest sustainability, competing resources, and the importance of partnership development. Attendees will visit the Sand Spring and Spring Creek Treatment Areas. The Pike National Forest and Hayman burn scar have a unique soil type—Pikes Peak Decomposed Granite. This soil type presents a unique challenge to wildfire mitigation and recovery because of its high erodibility.

This tour will also highlight the effects of fire on water resources and watershed management. Attendees will hear from community stakeholders, Denver Water, who will discuss municipal water supplies and partnership projects. 

A picnic lunch will be provided.
Tickets: $100 early/$125 late (after June 22)

Tour #2: Women in Agriculture Tour
Wednesday, August 3
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

This tour, supported by Women in NRCS (WiN), will visit two unique agricultural operations that are owned and operated by women. The farms are located in Denver and Boulder counties, within 50 miles of the conference center. Each producer will host participants on their farm and/or ranch and give a tour of the operations. They will also share their stories of achievements and struggles while describing how they overcame obstacles. The Women in Agriculture Tour will ultimately highlight the progress of women owners and operators in agriculture.
Tickets: $75 early/$100 late (after June 22)

Tour #3: Downtown Denver Conservation Walking Tour
Wednesday, August 3
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

See the city of Denver through the eyes of its conservation professionals! During this four-hour guided walking tour, participants will visit stops featuring speakers on a variety of topics, such as Indigenous cultural impacts, cutting-edge urban farming, and green infrastructure. Specifically, learn about the recently completed, unprecedented Urban Soil Survey of Denver County from Andy Steinert, NRCS Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) Soil Survey Leader. Immerse yourself in the history of Indigenous land use in the region. Also, discover how the City of Denver is utilizing green infrastructure to be climate change resilient and enhance community livability. Note: this will be an active walking tour, although there will be rest stops and opportunities for photos along the way! 
Tickets: $50 early/$75 late (after June 22)