Conservation for the Future - Kathy Good, Hamilton, Mont.

We are at my home at the end of judd creek hollow i've lived here for 23 years and not much of it has changed except the way the forest is taking care of itself and i take care of it and then july 31st happened the fire the fire happened and was very traumatic really took really hard on all of us in here a friend called me who lives down very near where the fire started saying kathy we have a fire I drove down to the intersection and and the sheriff's department told me get back and evacuate we're going to start evacuating right away and we got about half a mile down the road and it was coming down the

slope and honestly I could understand then he was as frightened as anyone was he thought we were going to get trapped in here because the fire was rolling down the mountain just like water it was it was just coming so fast my property is lucky there were so many places that were so hot it was scorched earth but not not so much here because mine were saved the nrcs people were very great about contacting those of us involved and my house is sitting at the end of a gulch and they felt it was very much at risk very vulnerable to the possibility of a mudslide so that's that's when I began to work with the nrcs we first got involved with this as the fire was unfolding and because of the burn severity

we were concerned about the changes to hydrology and how increased runoff might threaten her home so working with the forest service and other partners on fire assessment here we came up with a strategy to protect her home from those increased runoffs and and any debris flows that might come down in a heavy rain event post fire they they basically designed for me and my property what they thought was the best way to handle a runoff in the in a crisis situation if that came and so in the late fall I finally had a crew come out and had excavators come out and did the project as the nrcs people had designed it that will handle a monumental flood if it happens the height of this wall the

depth of the channel and even the size of the rocks those are all calculations and how much runoff we might see coming down this drainage so it's it's integrated into the landscape of the home here but there's been a lot of engineering involved and just how this goes through the property I hadn't really thought of the fact that my house was right at the base of this gully and monetarily I couldn't have done it and I wouldn't have had the slightest idea where to begin so that was a tremendous help so kathy was one of the first people that we visited and after an initial on-site we we got our engineering staff involved and came up with this proposal which kathy chose to pursue so using

resources from our emergency watershed protection program ewp we were able to secure funding to assist in the implementation of this diversion and other protection measures for for other neighbors here that were impacted by the fire they were really really helpful they are in constant contact with me they are totally available if I have questions and and explain things to me two or three times if it needs to be done that much until I get it right and and that did happen a few times I kept saying why do we get why this why that and matt was very patient with me very and very concerned for me so they were great

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