Why is Forest Stewardship so important to Hilldale Pines? Our subdivision is one of the fastest growing populations in the foothills; a geographic area where homes are built in close proximity to flammable fuels and wildland fires commonly occur.

Hilldale Pines is predominantly a lodgepole pine forest because of our elevation and north facing slopes.

Lodgepole pine forests tend to be very dense stands with large quantities of small diameter trees. From an ecological standpoint, these stands are considered stagnant and unproductive. The competition for resources (light, water, etc.) severely limits the tree's growth and productivity. The dense cover and lack of seed sources prohibit the introduction of other species on the site. Unless these areas are managed somehow, lodgepole will remain at this state indefinitely until a fire breaks.

Since lodgepole pines normally regenerate with fire, we must step in and regenerate our own forest. To do this we must cut down all diseased trees and thin our forest to help generate other species such as Douglas Fir, Engleman Spruce, Ponderosa Pine and Aspen.

The Hilldale Pines HOA has been approved by the Colorado Forest Stewardship Program to help us do just that. The Colorado Stewardship Program is part of a national effort to encourage landowners to manage their properties for economic, environmental, recreational and social benefits. It is funded by the 1990 Farm Bill. Colorado's Stewardship effort is endorsed by the Colorado State Forest Service, 17 other major organizations, Jefferson County and private natural resources consultants throughout the state.

At this time 135 Hilldale Pines homeowners have had the Colorado State Forester come to their properties, had their trees marked and started a management plan: 70 of those homeowners have finished their Defensible Space cutting, now needing only to maintain their forests.

If you are interested in Forest Stewardship or have questions, please contact us or Allen Owen, Colorado State Forester at 303-279-9757.

At the very least, please cut down your diseased trees so that we can keep the diseases from spreading. Any tree that is dying from the top down is almost certainly diseased and will spread if not cut down. If a tree suddenly turns brown or orange this spring, it probably has Mountain Pine Beetle or IPS Beetle and must be cut down and taken care of by July 1st.

Please check to see if your property is in a Fire Chimney, read about Wildfire Safety Guidelines, Creating Defensible Zones and use those guidelines for cutting your trees.