Mar 102004
Authors: James Baetke

In attempts to preserve the native biosphere of Fort Collins,

city officials will administer a prescribed burn in the Coyote

Ridge Natural Area, which midway between Fort Collins and


The 200-acre burn is slated for late March and will be

controlled by the Poudre Fire Authority. At least six fire trucks

and 30 firefighters will monitor and ignite the area with the burn,

which is aimed to eliminate the non-native grasses and an

accumulated layer of thatch.

“Our primary objective of this burn is getting the best quality

of native habitat (at the Coyote Ridge Natural Area),” said Rick

Bachand, the Fort Collins senior environmental planner.

Once the burn is complete, the city will plant native grass

seeds in order to restore the natural prairie grasslands that would

normally be growing in the region. Preservation and cosmetic

reasons are the main reason for the burn.

“We’re trying to get in there and out in one day to remove

several years of growth and weeds,” Bachand said.

A prescribed burn is a planned, carefully controlled fire where

each step in the burn process is established in advanced.

“Restoration of the abandoned fields at Coyote Ridge Natural

Area to a native prairie will increase the habitat value of the

site and will ultimately increase the diversity of wildlife,”

Bachand said.

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