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The San Miguel Basin Extension office provides assistance and programs for citizens in five main areas: 4-H/Youth Development, Ag/Local Food, Gardening, Natural Resources and Home, Family & Health.

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Pile Burning to Begin as Snow Accumulates 

Burning Slash

U.S. Forest Service firefighters plan to start work on seasonal slash pile burning this fall, winter and spring as weather and fuel conditions allow on the Colorado National Forests. 

Throughout the year, fuels reduction programs across the forest are ongoing, improving forest health through both hand and mechanical tree cutting. During this process larger logs are taken to market and smaller limbs, sapling and brush are piled together to dry for later burning. When the weather changes in the fall, winter and spring, and more moisture is present in the ecosystem, conditions become favorable for burning these piles. During this time, firefighters return to ignite piles that have been left to cure from thinning projects. 

Piles are only ignited when fuels managers are confident that the project can be undertaken safely with considerations to current fuel and snow conditions, wind, temperature, available staffing, and smoke dispersal. These conditions are monitored on an on-going basis both before burning begins and after ignitions are complete to ensure the ignited piles remain within planned boundaries.   

Smoke, flames, and glowing embers are often visible, and are a normal part of pile burning operations. This can be visible throughout the night. Moisture, namely snow, helps contain the piles and firefighters monitor the area during and after the burn. Monitoring continues until the piles are considered out. Public and firefighter safety is always the number-one priority in burning operations. Check with the Norwood Fire Department; 970-327-4800 whenever you decide to burn and ask advice about burning slash with the Norwood Fire Department or the US Forest Service in Norwood; 970-327-4261.

How to Protect Your Family From Wood Smoke, <click here>

Native Plant Education Field Classes are completed for 2022

Call 970-327-4393 or email Mary at  if you want to be on our email list for Native Plant Education classes.

Want More?

Do you want to find out what’s blooming and learn more about some of your favorite plants in Colorado? 

Come Explore with us by Attending at Native Plant Class.

Click here for the SMB Native Plant Brochure



The 2023 Seedling Program cancelled!

There will be NO orders for 2023 through the Colorado State Forest Service.

Email Mary Watson at to be on the email list to receive an application form or have questions about ordering.

Any Landowners in the San Miguel and West Montrose counties area are able to buy Seedling Plants from the CSU Extension Office in Norwood.  The seedlings are sold in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Service. After ordering and paying with a check, you will pick them up around the first or second week in May here in Norwood; we will inform you of the date.

We offer perennial wildflowers and grasses, bare root trees, regular potted trees; they are offered in lots of 25 or 30 at a nominal cost, cash or check only. We have over 40 different species are available – both deciduous and conifers. 

Click here information on Wind Breaks.


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