Canyon Rim Ranch recently applied for and was awarded the designation as a Firewise USA community by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The Firewise program is co-sponsored by the United States Forest Service, the United States Department of Interior and the National Association of State Foresters. The program teaches people how to adapt to living with the threat of wildfires and encourages neighbors to work together to prevent losses. As a result of the designation, Canyon Rim Ranch joins approximately 1,500 communities across the country that have been recognized by the NFPA’s Firewise program, only eight of which are in South Dakota.
The steep canyon walls, large mountain meadows and proximity to pristine forest make Canyon Rim Ranch a beautiful place to live. But with such beauty also comes the potential risk of wildfires. So, in 2010, the community sought the advice and help of David Hettick, a rural forester with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. In the ensuing years, Canyon Rim Ranch has completed 215.9 acres of forest stand improvement and fuels treatment, as well as 105.7 acres of conifer removal and fuel treatment in natural meadow areas, and most of the individual owners have completed fuel treatments on their own properties. Canyon Rim Ranch has also become a member of the American Tree Farm System.
With less fuel and proper preparation, the risk of wildfire is greatly diminished. And, by continuing their efforts, the homeowners of Canyon Rim Ranch should be able to enjoy the natural beauty for many years to come.