Parks Resource Stewardship Program History
1999: The Resource Stewardship Section of State Parks was created to perform biological and GIS work on Park lands with Rob Billerbeck hired to staff this new section.
1999-2005: Baseline inventories performed of natural resources at state parks and the implementation of a statewide GIS infrastructure was a main objective of this program.
- The Stewardship Process was implemented for each park resulting in a park specific Stewardship Plan based on field inventories and historical data.
- GIS surveys of natural resources (weeds, rare plants, raptor nests) and man-made features (trails, facilities, picnic sites) were mapped and continue to be updated at each Park.
2002: The Fuels Mitigation Project launched to reduce the risk of large wildfires. In cooperation with the State Forest Service, over 900 acres have been treated and over 8,000 acres are planned for future projects.
2004: The Colorado Natural Areas Program (CNAP) was moved under the leadership of Rob Billerbeck, along with the Stewardship and Fuels Programs. Also added to the responsibilities of the Stewardship Program is the Threatened and Endangered Species development review process.
2005: Elizabeth Brown hired as Resource Stewardship Coordinator and Brian Kurzel hired as Natural Areas Coordinator.
2005 - Present: Stewardship Plans and GIS mapping remain a high priority for the section. The final two Stewardship Plans will be written in the 2007-08 season and go to an editing phase beginning in 2008-09.
- Noxious weed management and restoration activities continue to be a top priority for Stewardship and Parks.
- A Statewide Aquatic Nuisance Species coordination effort is added to the suite of program activities with new invaders such as Eurasian watermilfoil and New Zealand Mud Snail entering Colorado borders. Zebra mussels first appeared in Colorado in January 2008 and Parks is rapidly responding to this new threat.
- State Parks Volunteer Raptor Monitoring Program is active at eight parks and is expanding to new parks. The program results in nest mapping, detailed bi-weekly nest monitoring and migration monitoring within parks.
- CNAP continues to grow and provide leadership for plant conservation.