Castle Pines Ecosystem Management Plan

Castle Pines Ecosystem Management Plan

Castle Pines is a 1,000-acre covenant-protected community and former Colorado home of the Professional Golf Association Tour where the property-wide real estate value exceeds $12.7 billion.

The Castle Pines Ecosystem Management Plan was created in conjunction with a Community Wildfire Protection Program to meet long-range resource planning goals for open space, to mitigate the risk of wildfire, to ensure that management activities are ecologically sustainable and to integrate these directives with social preferences. Project objectives were applied to three distinct arenas: 1) Forest Management and Wildfire Mitigation, 2) Noxious Weeds and 3) Wildlife.

The natural environment at Castle Pines intermingles with residential developments, golf courses, roads, trails and site infrastructure. These site conditions presented special challenges and opportunities for management. For example, golf greens establish fuel brakes throughout the community but these areas are irrigated with recycled waste water. Salts and ions dissolved in this water source caused decline of ponderosa pine trees in and adjacent to fairways. As a result, our forest management recommendations were expanded to address the use of recycled waste water and arboricultural issues associated with landscaping. Likewise the noxious weed assessment identified erosion and sedimentation as a major cause for weed propagation. Unstable sites such as cut banks, water ways, ditches and construction areas were common throughout the property. These early seral environments are ideal locations for weed establishment and dispersal. Our prioritized and species-specific noxious weed management recommendations were accompanied by erosion and sedimentation guidelines and restoration seed mixes.