Our mission is to collaboratively protect the Spanish Peaks area and wildlife from the impact of destructive events.

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03-24-2020 Red Flag Warning

PRESS RELEASE – SPANISH PEAKS ALLIANCE for WILDFIRE PROTECTION – 3/20/20

Before and After Shaded Fuel Break Mitigation

The Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection (SPAWP), a 501c3 organization, worked this winter identifying, pursuing and in conjunction with Huerfano County, executing wildfire mitigation grant projects. When driving HWY 12 South toward Cuchara, that work is visible to the West near Pinehaven. 

Two SPAWP Board Members, Janna Laudato and Cody Siebert worked closely with Paul Branson – HC Wildfire Mitigation Coordinator, Ron Jameson – Chaparral Construction and landowners, to ensure that the work was done safely, effectively, on time and on budget and where it was needed.

Funding for this work came from the Action and Implementation for Mitigation (AIM) program, offered through Coalitions and Collaboratives (COCO). It was facilitated with help from the County, publicly donated monies and volunteer hours for the matching portion of the $3,500 provided by SPAWP. Before and after photos of this work accompany this press release. 

SPAWP team members are working on upcoming mitigation and forest restoration grants in conjunction with USFS, CSFS, BLM and the County aimed at further mitigation efforts in several areas across the Spanish Peaks Region.

SPAWP received another grant on March 16th from the Colorado State Forest Service. The $63,092 awarded is a reimbursement/matching grant under their Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) program. The funds help to further reduce heavy wildland fuel loads of dead and decaying trees, trees too close to buildings and roads, lower tree limbs or ladder fuel and brush. 

The SPAWP BOD plans a summer event with our alliance partner, the La Veta Fire Protection District (LVFPD) and others. This will be an opportunity to update our members and the public on our projects and plans. Please consider inviting SPAWP to HOA & Firewise Community meetings where we collect input on needs, provide wildfire protection education, share plans and answer questions.

Public attendance is welcome at monthly SPAWP Board meetings. Please check our website calendar at www.spawp.org for dates and times. The website also allows you to renew your annual SPAWP membership and donate to help us meet our matching funds requirements for future mitigation grants. Thank you!

Annual Membership Meeting a Great Success

Spirits were high as current and new Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection (SPAWP) members gathered at the La Veta Fire Protection District Station No.1 on August 24 for the first SPAWP annual membership meeting.

“We made it!” said Sandy Magruder, SPAWP Board Member at large, referring to the fact that SPAWP had successfully completed a year as an organization.  SPAWP, formed after the devastating Spring Creek Fire, is dedicated to protecting the Spanish Peaks region from the devastating impacts of wildfire, as well as aiding recovery efforts in the Spring Fire burn scar.  

Janna Laudato, current SPAWP Vice President and Grants Committee chair recapped the organization’s accomplishments, including grants, Board of Directors, website, and 501(c)(3) status. The AIM grant has already been awarded for SPAWP’s start-up costs. Ms. Laudato also outlined grants in development to create a shaded fuel break along Hwy 12 and county roads for evacuation from Cuchara, Wahatoya, Navajo Ranch, and Majors Ranch. Ms. Laudato said SPAWP is “in a position to make a difference”.

Jim Ramsey, SPAWP Treasurer presented the annual budget for SPAWP and stated that SPAWP is getting on firmer financial ground thanks to individual membership fees and donations. In addition SPAWP now has seven organizational memberships.  He added that SPAWP was “especially grateful for the donation from Cuchara Hermosa from Pamela Ward’s book sale proceeds.” The funds on hand will permit SPAWP to embark on projects of our own while awaiting the outcome of grant applications.

New Board candidates proposed by the nominating committee, including Craig Yenzer, Sherri Jones, Will Jones and Brad Snow were presented, along with returning Board Members up for reelection. The Board of Directors slate was elected by acclamation. The specific roles of the directors would be determined in the Board of Directors Strategy meeting scheduled for Monday, August 26th. 

Cody Siebert, Board Member at Large said “we couldn’t have done it without Janna Laudato and James Ramsey’s tireless contributions” and presented recognition awards to the new and ongoing board members.

Paul Gomez, Walsenburg Assistant Fire Chief, reminded everyone of the purpose of SPAWP with his graphic slides, videos and recounting of his harrowing experiences during the Spring Fire.

The Annual meeting was a success by all accounts including the addition of 14 new members and a new Board of Directors to steer SPAWP through the coming year. 

Contact Us

Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection
P.O. Box 421
La Veta, CO 81055
Tel: 719-717-0930
mail@spawp.org