Upper South Platte Partnership


The Upper South Platte Partnership (USPP) is a collaboration between government agencies, water providers, nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions which share a vision of sustainable and resilient landscapes, healthy forests, proactive and engaged fire-adapted communities, with safe, effective, and efficient fire response and management in the Upper South Platte watershed.


The Upper South Platte watershed, in the foothills west of Denver, CO, supplies 80% of the water for Denver’s 1.3 million residents. This same area is also at an extremely high risk for large and catastrophic wildfires, such as the Buffalo Creek Fire that burned 12,000 acres within two days or the Hayman Fire that burned over 135,000 acres, and is Colorado’s largest recorded wildfire.

In the event of severe wildfires, water infrastructure can become choked by flowing debris. The aftermath of the Hayman Fire, dredging reservoirs and other repairs alone lead to $27 million in costs. Today, Colorado is in a critical era of water protection and increased action is required.


The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute supports the Upper South Platte Partnership by facilitating the development of criteria for project success, collaborating with partners, providing scientific knowledge, as well as performing ecological monitoring of treatment areas.

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Brett Wolk