Between the Hewlett fire in May, and the High Park fire in June, nearly 95,000 acres of Larimer County felt the effects of wildland fire in 2012. Thanks to LightHawk volunteer pilot Dan Evans, CNHP’s Dave Anderson, Jill Handwerk, and Michael Menefee were able to fly over the burn area and check out the impacts to some of the elements of biodiversity that CNHP has documented over the years.
The Larimer aletes (Aletes humilis) is endemic to the Colorado Front Range, where it thrives in the shallow, gravelly surface soils around rock outcrops, such as are found at Gray Rock in the Hewlett burn area.
The Arapaho stonefly is known only from two tributaries to the Cache la Poudre River: Elkhorn Creek and Young Gulch (where it has not been seen since 1986).
The High Park burn area is also home to a variety of plant communities that are typical of this part of the Colorado Front Range.