Fireweed Ecological Services

Nimbly restoring the balance of nature

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Do you love your mountain property, but need help keeping it healthy and safe from the hazards of invasive weeds, forest pests, and wildfire?

Consulting ecologist, Lucy Bauer, can help!

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Fireweed’s Services

Fireweed Ecological Services tackles three of the greatest threats to homeowner safety and landscape health in the mountains of Colorado today:

  • Noxious weeds stealthily invading our communities, reducing wildlife habitat and increasing fire risk.
  • Declining forest health in overly-dense forests where insects and disease find easy pickings.
  • Wildfire, and its increasing frequency and intensity in the wildland-urban-interface (WUI).

Contact me for more information on how I can help you mitigate against these issues.

Noxious Weed Management

Common mullein and leafy spurge colonizing ground disturbed by logging.

When a natural landscape is disturbed by driveway construction, home building, wildfire mitigation, soil erosion or other outdoor activities, a perfect opportunity is created for invasion by noxious weeds.

These aggressive exotic plants, such as Canada thistle, musk thistle, common mullein and leafy spurge, can quickly take over and crowd out the native vegetation and wildlife, leaving an unsightly mess with long term environmental and economic damage. Cheatgrass stands can also present a wildfire hazard as they dry out early and carry fire easily.

How Fireweed can help

I can help you avoid this scenario by assessing and taking care of your noxious weeds before, during and/or after any disturbance on your property, using a sound combination of cultural, biological and/or chemical management within an action plan. Eliminating or reducing the spread of certain noxious weed species is legally required of property owners to reduce environmental harm, and local wildlife and native vegetation will greatly benefit from your active involvement in restoring their habitat.

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Insect and Disease Evaluation

Dwarf mistletoe infestation on ponderosa pine trunk.

Our Colorado forests are under threat. Decades of fire suppression and rising temperatures have resulted in a landscape of sickly, crowded and vulnerable stands of trees. These trees can easily fall victim to disease and insect attacks, including dwarf mistletoe, mountain pine beetle or spruce budworm,  if no action is taken to improve forest health and nip infections and infestations in the bud.

How Fireweed can help

I can help assess the health of your trees, identify insect or disease issues, and advise on measures that should be taken to avoid damage or tree loss and improve overall forest health. Addressing potential problems early on with an action plan will save you time and resources, and result in a more resilient and attractive landscape around your home.

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Home Ignition Zone Assessment

Bird's nest acting as an ember trap beneath eaves of home.

Wildfire is one of the greatest risks property owners in the wildland urban interface (WUI) face today. Research has shown that blowing and lodging embers are the main cause of building ignition.

How Fireweed can help

I can help you evaluate your property’s vulnerability to wildfire by doing a comprehensive on-site home ignition zone assessment with you, offering practical recommendations and an action plan for hardening your home against encroaching wildfire and blowing embers, as well as for reducing fire risk in the surrounding vegetation.

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Service Area

Fireweed’s service area encompasses the Colorado mountain communities of western Jefferson County together with adjoining areas of eastern Clear Creek and Park Counties. Regions further afield may also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

About Fireweed Ecological Services

Lucy Bauer, founder

My interest in restoring privately-owned natural areas in Colorado’s mountains and foothills took hold with my family’s purchase of 43 acres of forest and meadow in Bailey nearly three decades ago. Over the years, as we built our log cabin and homeschooled our six kids, we were immersed in taking care of the land around us. My training as an ecologist gained new meaning as we grappled with insects and disease in conifers, planted hundreds of seedling trees and shrubs, dealt with the aftermath of the Snaking Gulch Fire, revegetated with native grasses, controlled noxious weeds, and created defensible space around our now more fire-hardened log cabin.

Our log cabin in Bailey, CO

Finally, the kids took off on their own, and I returned to school to gain more training and qualifications to add to my hard-won on-the-ground skills and experiences in natural resource management. After working awhile in this arena for others, both locally and further afield, I created Fireweed Ecological Services LLC. As a nimble and independent contractor in the realm of vegetation management and fire mitigation, I am keen to help other property owners in Colorado’s mountain and foothill communities live confidently and harmoniously within the wildland-urban interface too.

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