Slideshow presentation to consider topic of wildland fire

Horseback Riders for a Wild San Juan Mountains will present the third of five slideshows covering environmental topics concerning the San Juan National Forest. The location of the slideshow is Higher Grounds Coffee. This event is Wednesday, Jan. 14 , 5:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

 The slideshow will focus on wildland fire on the San Juan National Forest — why fire is critical to the health of the forest, what are the different types of wildland fires and the challenges of reintroducing fire into the ecosystems, said Ros Wu, fire ecologist, Pagosa Ranger District, San Juan National Forest.

“Our national is one of the least inhabited forests in the southern Rockies, which can allow for significant reintroduction of wildland fire,” said Beverly Compton, executive director for the Horseback Riders for a wild San Juan Mountains. “Fire is a fascinating and critical natural process in our forests. Oxygen, flammable matter and heat are the three elements required for fire. Fuels, weather and topography determine where a wildland fire burns. Fire naturally burns in a mosaic pattern as it jumps and spreads through a forest. Much of how the forest looks is the result of fire: open meadows that were once a forest, aspen groves that can stop a fire in its tracks, old growth forests which may have a fire cycle of hundreds of years. Understanding fire and how it burns, what doesn’t burn and the cycle of recovery can give you a new way of looking at and understanding the ecology of our forests.”

 Horseback Riders for a Wild San Juan Mountains is a new non-profit that will bring a local environmental voice to local public land issues and build collaborative support and involvement in these issues by horseback riders and others in Pagosa Country.

 For more information concerning the Winter Speaker Series, or to learn more about Horseback Riders for a Wild San Juan Mountains, send an e-mail to or call 731-3471.