Comprised of 18+ organizations, the Collaborative empowers all people to reduce wildfire risk in their communities and protect people, property, and places from wildfire loss.
Contact: Clarke Williams
The Aspen Institute
Washington, D.C., May 23, 2023 – Today the Aspen Institute announces its partnership with the Roaring Fork Valley Wildfire Collaborative (RFVWC) which aims to reduce wildfire risk by identifying, prioritizing, and implementing strategic cross-boundary plans and projects aimed at creating fire-resilient landscapes and fire-adapted communities while focusing on community engagement, education, and inclusion.
The Collaborative has entered into an official partnership with the Aspen Institute and will be managed by Angie Davlyn. Prior to joining the Institute and the Collaborative, Angie worked in public education, most recently serving as the Chief of HR for a 1,200-staff school district in Western Colorado. She brings a decade of senior leadership experience that included managing complex projects, building diverse teams, facilitating multi-stakeholder collaborations, and leading organizations through big change. The Collaborative is led by a Board of Directors, co-chaired by Rick Balentine, the CEO and Fire Chief of the Aspen Fire Protection District, and Ali Hager Hammond, Director of Community Wildfire Resilience for the Aspen Fire Protection District. Other members of the Board include Ryan Mahoney of the Town of Basalt, Eric Lovgren of Eagle County, Gary Tillotson of Glenwood Springs, and Mina Bolton of Glenwood Springs Fire.
“I am looking forward to working alongside the leaders spearheading the RFVWC as we address critical community needs when it comes to wildfire resilience,” said Angie Davlyn, Program Manager for the Roaring Fork Valley Wildfire Collaborative. “The Collaborative has brought momentum to community-led organizations for projects that go beyond the greater, cross-boundary efforts with the forest service and has improved Spanish language outreach in the Roaring Fork Valley, which we look forward to growing. We hope to build a sense of unity and shared purpose for partners from many backgrounds throughout the valley as our work takes shape in the next few months.”
“The Collaborative has given the entire Valley the ability to unite on transformative, large-scale projects that allows us to help mitigate future wildfires and reduce the impact on our communities,” said Rick Balentine, CEO and Fire Chief of the Aspen Fire Protection District. “We are thrilled that the Aspen Institute is joining this effort to protect every community in the Roaring Fork Valley.”
“As climate change continues to affect our daily lives, partnerships like the Roaring Valley Wildfire Collaborative are crucial for the health of communities threatened by severe wildfires,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “The Valley has been the Institute’s home for nearly 75 years and we are excited to work with leaders in the region to build resilience with an inclusive vision for the future.”
Since its inception in 2022, the RFVWC has partnered and collaborated across counties, cities, fire departments, and local organizations on mastication work–a method of vegetation management used in forestry management to reduce wildfire risk– as well as planning and implementing prescribed fires.
In the Spring and Summer of 2023, coordinated efforts between the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District, Pitkin County, and the White River National Forest (all members of the RFVWC) will result in prescribed fire and mastication work on additional acres at Avalanche Creek, Braderich Creek, and Filoha Meadows. Aspen Fire, Pitkin County, the City of Aspen, ACES, and the White River National Forest are partnering to plan future treatments near the Sunnyside area north of Aspen in 2024/2025. As a result of the collaborative success seen thus far, there has been a surge in cross-pollination between neighboring wildfire collaboratives, which is critical in mapping efforts to identify and prioritize future wildfire mitigation and resilience projects.
For more information on the Collaborative, please contact Angie Davlyn at Angie.Davlyn@aspeninstitute.org
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.