The Animas watershed is part of the San Juan basin in southwestern Colorado and has a population of approximately 36,000 people. The watershed is 1,371 square miles of which 51% is protected. Forests cover 71% of the Animas watershed.
Fire plays an important role in fire ecology, helping to rejuvenate disturbance-driven systems and bring diversity to the age and type of plants in the forest. In the last century, however, humans have changed when and where fires happen on the landscape—sometimes starting fires themselves, sometimes preventing fires from spreading.
Ozone (O3) is a chemical compound found in the upper layer of our atmosphere and closer to the ground. In the upper layer of the atmosphere, ozone helps to protect life by protecting our planet from the sun’s ultra-violet rays, but ground-level ozone is considered a pollutant and can harm human and plant health.