COLORADO SPRINGS - Volunteers are turning dead trees into new hope for the future of the Flying W Ranch in the Mountain Shadows area. The Flying W is the only business that was destroyed by the Waldo Canyon wildfire. I watched as volunteers with the Coalition For The Upper South Platte were mulching and doing extensive mitigation work on the hill.
C.U.S.P. organizer Jonathan Bruno tells me the trees will be turned into terraces to help stem the tide of flooding because the vegetation on the hills near the ranch has been burned away. He showed me rocks in the soil that he described as ball bearings. Bruno said, "By working up on these hill slopes with contour trees, we're mitigating what's entering in the drainage and racing down here. These trees slash terraces will help hold that water in place and doesn't allow it to race down the hill. It slows it down." Bruno's organization spearheads work on private property, post fire to prevent future erosion.
Flying W Ranch owner Leigh Ann Wolfe tells me, "So much has accomplished with so little in one day. With this mitigation work, I'm going to sleep for the first time since June 26th, because we see progress. Wolfe is psyched about a Friday meeting with Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, "I get to go to Mayor Bach and say look at what we've done with so little to protect the mountain shed."
The effort to help the Flying W Ranch is full up with volunteers. You can still help with future mitigation projects in other areas. We've put a link to that information on Links We Mentioned, front page, KRDO.com