Map of collaboratives and initiatives in the Southwest


The purpose of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program is to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes and:

  • encourage ecological, economic, and social sustainability;
  • leverage local resources with national and private resources;
  • facilitate the reduction of wildfire management costs, including through re-establishing natural fire regimes and reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire;
  • demonstrate the degree to which various ecological restoration techniques achieve ecological and watershed health objectives; and,
  • encourage utilization of forest restoration by-products to offset treatment costs, to benefit local rural economies, to and improve forest health.


Southwest Focal Areas

Both La Plata and Montezuma Counties have coordinated cross-boundary landscape-scale efforts funded through the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Programs (COSWAP)—one managed by La Plata County and the other managed by the Mancos Conservation District in Montezuma County.

COSWAP projects focus on reducing wildfire risk to communities and critical infrastructure. COSWAP funds thinning, egress clearing, defensible space, and pile burning on private land that complements the Southwest Colorado Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program. Both COSWAP projects were awarded in late 2022 and will be funded through 2025.

Additionally, Montezuma County and La Plata Counties revised their Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) in FY23 outlining goals, strategies, and partner roles, thereby providing a roadmap for collective efforts.

La Plata County / Upper Florida Focal Area

The La Plata County/Upper Florida Focal Area is the highest priority area identified in Southwest Colorado. Here, local, state, and national priorities are aligning to achieve desired outcomes on the ground.

Several aspects of this Focal Area are vulnerable to the threat of wildfire, including a dense wildland urban interface (WUI), a bustling recreation and tourism-based economy, and a critical watershed. The Florida River Municipal Watershed provides water to over 20,000 residents and visitors to the City of Durango, Colorado, and the Durango La Plata County Airport.

North Mancos / Chicken Creek Focal Area

The North Mancos Focal Area covers the highest priority cross-boundary landscape between the Towns of Mancos and Dolores. The focal area was identified as a top priority by the Dolores Watershed Resilient Forest Collaborative and RMRI Southwest due to high wildfire risk and associate WUI, critical water infrastructure, as well as recreation and wildlife values.

COSWAP efforts focus on private and Ute Mountain Ute Tribal lands and build on a larger and cohesive cross-boundary strategy to reduce wildfire risk, including major investments on other land ownerships by the San Juan National Forest, Tres Rios BLM, and the Colorado State Forest Service.

Other Projects (non-focal area)


Coming soon.