Completion of Jerome Miller/Miller Gulch Project


On April 3, 2024, the final review and inspection of the Miller Gulch 2 Project was conducted and approved by Stewardship West and the Pike National Forest. It also is the final review and approval of the combined Jerome Miller/Miller Gulch Projects total 1502 acres of mechanical treatment in just over two years. The Award Date for the Jerome Miller Project was January 25, 2022, and October 27, 2022, for the Miller Gulch Projects. Completing this important forest restoration work was in record time and on budget.


The Jerome Miller/Miller Gulch Stewardship Agreements are part of the Crossons-Longview NEPA project located on the South Platte Ranger District of the Pike National Forest, approximately ten miles west of Bailey, Colorado. The watersheds in the project area are critical community resources as they are a source of domestic water supply for metropolitan Denver.


Colorado’s forests naturally adapted to low-intensity fire; nature’s preferred management tool until the late 1800’s timber industry era practice of clear cutting followed by aggressive fire suppression resulted in the ailing forests that dominate the landscape today. Forest stands are overly dense and uniform in age and species making them susceptible to high-intensity wildfire and insect outbreaks. Runoff from thunderstorms over fire denuded areas erode soils leading to flooding and sediment debris flows which impact rivers, streams, and reservoirs. Wildfire imperils fish and wildlife habitats and reduces recreational opportunities. The juxtaposition of the current forest conditions with hundreds of homes, watersheds, and significant infrastructure is of great concern should a high-intensity wildfire occur.


This Stewardship project used vegetative treatments that will improve forest conditions by increasing resiliency to large-scale, high-intensity fire and damage from insects and diseases while supporting sustainable watershed conditions, improve wildlife habitats, recreational opportunities, and community safety.

To accomplish these objectives, this Stewardship Agreement included the following components: stand cleaning/thinning, mechanical fuels reduction, non-commercial cleaning/thinning, and piling of fuels, removal and decking of sawtimber and non-sawtimber, and road work. All this work was accomplished with mechanical equipment.


There were positive outcomes achieved from these projects in a brief period other than just the highly acclaimed resource treatment work. These other positive outcomes included establishing and maintaining partnerships with the Pike National Forest, Denver Water Authority, Aurora Water, Colorado State Forest Service, and other collaboration groups. There was also important collaboration and partnering with contractors to develop and implement utilization of non-sawtimber material from these projects that had not previously been utilized.


The Jerome Miller/Miller Gulch Projects are a showcase for what can be done utilizing the tool of Stewardship Agreements and working with other agencies and groups to document the cooperative effort between the parties for landscape restoration on the Pike National Forest and other areas across the West.


Skip to content