Breckenridge, Forest Service enter into local watershed agreement | SummitDaily.com

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Breckenridge, Forest Service enter into local watershed agreement

The town of Breckenridge and the Dillon Ranger District announced last week they entered into a memorandum of understanding agreement to proactively improve the health and resiliency of forests and watershed in the vicinity of Indiana Gulch and Blue River's Goose Pasture Tarn.

The two locations are the sole water source for the Breckenridge area's approximately 5,000 or so customer accounts. The U.S. Forest Service has a shared interest in improving forest health in these watersheds to protect water supplies and quality, as well as to continue providing other public benefits such as fuels reduction, wildlife habitat improvement and recreation opportunities.

"This is our first step in working together to develop a plan that protects and maintains the primary water supply for our citizens," Rick Holman, Breckenridge's town manager, said in a news release.

The pact, which runs through Dec. 7, 2022, formalizes the two partners' desire to work together on these mutual benefits through a number of prescribed activities. By performing actions that reduce wildlife risk and severity of burns through forest thinning, enhancing areas where future wildfires may occur in priority areas of concern around the watershed and working to limit the effects of erosion and sedimentation, the tandem believes it has a strategy to achieve these goals.

"This MOU will provide a conduit for which we can work more closely with our community partner, the Town of Breckenridge, on long-term collaborative opportunities to address forest health challenges around their primary watershed," Dillon District ranger Bill Jackson said in the release. "We will look to coordinate with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and other partners to provide education, technical support and facilitate relationships between private landowners for watershed treatments."