Researchers seek feedback for Wildfire Protection Plan

Photo of Ellie, Kirin and Sarah (left to right), Ellie's judgment.

Photo of Ellie, Kirin and Sarah (left to right), Ellie’s judgment.

The new team is in the process of mobilizing community awareness and priorities to update the 2011 Community Wildlife Conservation Plan, specifically for the Netherlands and the region. University of Colorado Boulder graduates Elizabeth Pray, Sarah Jensen and Kirin Ridel are working with team leader Maya Machammer of Boulder Watershed Collective to gather information and implement the new plan.

“BWC has received a grant to improve the plan,” Praine said of the process. “In the gift, they did not receive any money for community participation, so this is what our graduate student team is doing. We are connecting with the community through events and interviews. [With] All data [and] The insights we collect, community members [input] It will be evaluated and included in the plan.

The Netherlands is under the authority of NFPD, which includes the current CWPP as a Wildland Urban Interface, one mile outside of NFFD. The city and its environs are home to 18 WUIs or people who are homeless and most affected by wildfires. This means that the entire city of the Netherlands is in WUI and is at risk of wildfires.

“Moreover, with the changing climate, the risk of fires in the Netherlands has increased.” Jensen said.

Planning includes community resources, where people go, routes to and from areas and states, and even developing “bug out” bags to pick up. But what are the real goals and assumptions behind creating a more robust plan with community resources?

“I think this saves lives. When a fire breaks out, people feel more confident. “We’ve heard some people say, ‘When is it going to happen?’ “Focus on vulnerable people in particular; older people, children, homeless, very rural people, and perhaps those without a car or internet connection. It is about planning successfully.

Another goal is to reduce the risk of wildfires on people and municipal property in general. The Netherlands’ current CWPP is being developed by a small agency team in collaboration with a consulting firm. The document included community resources by a total of 47 respondents at a public meeting and a short online county survey attended by 10 residents. These respondents were generally Boulder County residents, but not all were limited to the Netherlands.

After reviewing the previous plan, the team noted that little effort had been made to ensure that it was part of the local community’s input and that the Dutch people’s representation was less than accurate.

“Building existing community engagement efforts to address inclusion in the CWPP development process is a priority for the Netherlands community values ​​to ensure that the plan is truly an all-encompassing, multi-stakeholder document,” he said. Jensen talks about the current project. “We conduct in-depth interviews with community members and host community engagement events over the summer. We hope to meet as many Dutch community members as possible.

Praine thanked the BWC, NFPD, Wild Bear Nature Center, Nederland Farmers Market, Nederland Community Center, and all those who worked with the group to connect with the city. The draft will continue to be available to the public next spring. The plan will be completed next summer.

To provide input and make your voice heard, email or call 803-325-4644. Interviews can be done in person, at home or in public, or online. The group has been participating in the Netherlands Farmers’ Market, and has seen the public talk about the project.

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