Public Lands

Frisco Backyard Fuels and Recreation Project

Town of Frisco, Colorado
A forest

The Frisco Backyard Fuels and Recreation Project is a 2,200-acre project located in a heavily visited area of National Forest Service lands located adjacent to the Town of Frisco, Colorado. The project area is also known to locals as the Backyard, which encompasses the land located generally south and east of Frisco and west and north of Breckenridge, comprising Mount Royal, Miners Creek, Rainbow Lake, Ophir Mountain, and Gold Hill. These are primarily National Forest System (NFS) lands that serve as an important community recreation resource, providing a natural forested backcountry character near Frisco.

A forest wayfinding sign

The proximity of this area combined with both local and visitor passion for the outdoors has led to the creation of dozens of miles of social trails that traverse a forest profoundly impacted by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. During dry months, conditions are favorable for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing. During the cooler months, trails in the Backyard are often under snow and provide favorable conditions for Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking.

Two concurrent projects were proposed by the Town of Frisco to improve the trail network and reduce wildfire risk; rather than considering these proposals separately, the White River National Forest has taken an innovative approach by combining them into a single action, integrating recreation and fuels reduction treatment designs. 

The project utilized the Climate Adaptation Workbook to incorporate climate considerations for sustainable recreation both now and in the future. 

A forest wayfinding sign

The project area was recently designated as a part of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument, lending particular attention to the area. National Monuments are managed consistent with the proclamation under which they were designated and to protect their natural and cultural resources, while allowing for compatible multiple uses.

Innovative tools, such as LiDAR and high resolution orthophotography, were leveraged to help refine fuels treatments, identify the extent of the social trail network with accuracy, and aid resource analysis across specialties.

Project storymap: Town of Frisco Backyard Fuels and Recreation Project (