ABOUT the Southwest Colorado Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program.

The purpose of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) is to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes. The Southwest Colorado Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program includes a diverse group of stakeholders working together to carry out a shared vision of ecological restoration. Our landscape is comprised of diverse communities brought together by a legacy of living in and depending on forested surroundings for countless generations. Across this landscape, partners are involved in multiple collaboratives, including state, local, and Tribal governments. These collaboratives have effectively brought communities together to address restoration needs.

Elevated wildfire risk in much of southwest Colorado associated with climate change and legacies of past land management practices highlight the need for coordinated and coherent efforts to restore area forests. With no action taken, vital elements to community identity and health are lost to fire, including infrastructure, industry, water, wildlife view sheds, recreational opportunities, and way of life. The Southwest CFLRP is one of several initiatives underway in Southwest Colorado to meet these ecological challenges face-to-face.

A charter and collaborative structure were developed in 2022 to coordinate the CFLRP, and includes the Coordinating Council and six standing committees in addition to the much broader constellation of stakeholders. Click here to see the full charter for more details.


In 2019, the San Juan National Forest worked collaboratively with community stakeholders to draft the Southwest Colorado CFLRP proposal. The project was one of only a handful selected in the nation, and it was subsequently funded in the spring of 2022. SW Colorado CFLRP then joined the Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative, the Rio Chama CFLRP, and other landscape-scale programs with the shared intent of tackling landscape-scale restoration. It is the interplay between these initiatives and other programs like Great Outdoors Colorado’s RESTORE grant, and the Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program, among others, that is moving the Southwest landscape toward resilience.

CFLRP drafting meeting

The hallmarks of Southwest Colorado CFLRP include:

  • The powerful interplay of programs like those listed above, which make it possible to treat lands across jurisdictional boundaries, making the approach to restoration truly landscape-scale. Wildfire, pests, and diseases don’t stop at property boundaries, so neither should our approach to ecological restoration.
  • Forest health collaboratives with rich histories and strong stakeholder engagement. The three collaboratives instrumental in the development of this CFLRP proposal, are the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership (SJHFHP), Four Rivers Resilient Forest Collaborative, and the Dolores Watershed Collaborative (DWC). These collaboratives support the stakeholder voices unique to each ranger district and neighboring non-Forest Service lands.
  • A robust San Juan National Forest Fuels program, well-staffed and supported state and private forestry programs, and an established and innovative wood products industry. Without the Fuels Program staffing and expertise to carry out prescribed fires on the National Forest, the fuels reduction capacity on State and private lands, and forest products industry to increase the pace and scale of forest treatments, our landscape-scale goals would not be possible.


The future Southwest Colorado landscape we envision is one with healthy watersheds, diverse wildlife habitat, economic prosperity, a dynamic and well-maintained system of roads and trails, and forested ecosystems that are resilient and self-supporting. These outcomes are the result of dialogue and discussion of values, interests, and priorities all of which come together to paint a picture of a future in which we can all see ourselves – our desired future conditions. The path to get there requires relationships, compromise, and hard work – in other words, it requires collaboration from all of us. This is not a future we can achieve without the collective effort of individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, tribes and communities. Through it all, we may just find that our connection to the spaces and places we call home, to the natural surroundings, to the more-than-human world have been strengthened. We may find that our relationships have forever changed and that we can no longer see ourselves as separate from our world that supports us and needs our support.