Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection

P.O. Box 421, La Veta, CO 81055

Current Projects for Fire Mitigation & Recovery

SPAWP Mitigation Project Overview

SPAWP is a Fundraising Source Charity and a Conduit in applying for Reimbursement Grants matching fire mitigation or land recovery project expense receipts for private property owners and public projects. SPAWP does not custodian the awarded State or Federal Grant dollars in advance to disperse.

2022-2023 Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) Grant Program

In February 2023, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) notified SPAWP that it was awarded a $679,787 grant under the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) Grant Program.  For the next three years, SPAWP, property owners, and contractors will mitigate fire risk in 556 strategically positioned acres of high fire risk forests in Huerfano County, Colorado, specifically in the Cuchara Valley and the Navajo Ranch neighborhood.  These mitigation efforts aim to provide fire protection at a landscape-wide scale that will tie into previous and ongoing extensive U.S. Forest Service and CSFS mitigation efforts in both main project areas.  Once implemented, these mitigation projects will help provide access to forest fires by firefighters, allow escape routes for area residents, protect wildlife, and preserve the area water quality.  For more information, please contact

BLM-CO Forests and Woodlands Resource Management Grant

 The BLM-CO Forests and Woodlands Resource Management Grant was awarded in support of the Spring Creek Fire Erosion and Ips Beetle Mitigation Project.  This cooperative agreement of $55,000 is for the purpose of conducting fuels treatments, soil stabilization and restoration activities to improve the Cucharas River and Huerfano River watersheds.  Current projects completed and underway are located in the Majors Ranch and Middle Creek areas – and include multiple efforts supporting erosion control due to excessive runoff from public lands. Upcoming projects include the removal of dead and stressed trees infested with Ips beetle infestation on Majors Ranch.

Hwy 12 - USDA / USFS WUI – Mitigation Matching Funds Awardee

In September 2020, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) and the Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Prevention (SPAWP) embarked on a major wildfire mitigation project, funded by the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Hwy 12 Grant, with an allocation of $300k. This partnership was forged with a clear intent of protecting people and properties along the Hwy 12 corridor who are passionate about living, visiting, or hiking in the surrounding National or State forest areas. The WUI program, coordinated via CSFS, was developed by the USDA-US Dept of Agriculture vis USFS US Forestry Service Federal Funding.

The goal of the project is to create a continuous 17-mile “Shaded Fuel and Fire Break” 150 feet on either side of Hwy 12 from Cucharas Pass to La Veta on state and private lands. The shaded fuel break is a zone where the forest density is reduced by removing ground fuel and increasing tree crown spacing, providing a safer and more effective area for firefighters to combat wildfires. This stretch is the only evacuation route out of the Cuchara Valley, amplifying the urgency and importance of the project.

SPAWP has been granted the opportunity to receive reimbursement for mitigation expenses through a matching percentage of qualifying approved paid expense receipts for projects completed on private lands along the Hwy 12 Corridor. The project will reduce destruction risks caused by wildfires, whether they are caused by natural forces or human actions such as cigarettes thrown out of car windows or trailer chains sparking on roads.

This initiative aligns with the National Fire Plan (NFP), a long-term strategy for reducing the effects of catastrophic wildfires nationwide. The NFP Program is implemented within the Division’s Fire and Aviation Program through the existing USDA Forest Service, State & Private Forestry, State Fire Assistance Program. A considerable portion of the funding is dedicated to mitigating risk in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas, and was developed to assist interface communities manage the unique hazards around them. The project follows the comprehensive strategy that focuses on assisting people and communities in the WUI to moderate the threat of catastrophic fire by improving prevention and suppression, reducing hazardous fuels, restoring fire-adapted ecosystems, and promoting community assistance.

Given that much of the land for this project is privately owned, community participation is crucial. If any landowner along the Hwy 12 between La Veta and the Cuchara pass hasn’t been contacted regarding this project, they should reach out to Jared Fleming <> at the Colorado State Forest Service. This initiative not only reduces the risk to human lives, wildlife, and assets but also creates employment opportunities for contractors, enhancing community resilience against the future wildfire risks. The consensus is clear, it’s not a question of if the next wildfire will occur, but when. Let’s be prepared.

Special thank you to:

Greetings to all our forest and mountain loving community!

Recently Channel KRDO created a news story and great video featuring on of the stupendous collaborative projects between SPAWP, US Forestry (USDA/USFS) and Colorado Forestry (CSFS) – It’s called the SFA HWY 12 WUI – the agencies have earmarked close to $300,000 in funds to be supervised contracted and allocated to this project BUT can only be distributed to those landowners who pull together and participate.


Play Video

USDA/USFS Slash Burn Pile – SPAWP Facilitates Community Collaboration

SPAWP (Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Prevention) facilitates discussions, negotiation and collaborations between the USDA/USFS (US Dept of Agriculture/US Forest Service), Huerfano County Dept of Emergency and Disaster Mgmt and local Communities to create designated areas for Slash Collection Piles for Supervised Burning by the USFS. SPAWP successfully facilitated this collaboration and mutually agreed location in the mountain forested area of La Veta, CO area. Further collaboration by the Huerfano County Department of Emergency and Disaster Mgmt supports volunteers for managing this effort to service residents and contractors and the USDA/USFS.

Slash-burning is a complimentary form of fire mitigation designed to keep forests healthy and prevent dangerous wildfires by safely burning leaves, pine needles, downed trees, standing small trees, and thick vegetation. The U.S. Forest Service burns piles of woody debris (slash) in an effort of reducing hazardous fuels. These piles are made from the slash left after mechanical thinning or cutting of trees in the forest has happened. Primarily, Mitigation projects by Private landowners, Contractors and US Forestry Service Personal in the area create massive tons of fire fuel materials (logs, branches, trees tops, bushes etc. known as slash.) that need a safe location to be collected, organized in preparation for burning and then later burned under safe USFS supervision standards that are also utilized as training activities for Fire Fighters and Forestry Management Personnel.

This project area compliments the removal and supervised destruction of fire fuel material.

Special thank you to: