The Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Claims Office (Claims Office) intends to fully compensate for losses associated with reforestation and revegetation. To process claims for reforestation and revegetation, as well as business and subsistence claims associated with privately owned tree losses, the Claims Office has engaged with experts from local, state, and federal agencies and reviewed market rates to determine fair compensation for reforestation and revegetation.
The Claims Office will compensate for the reforestation and revegetation of lost trees using a per-acre value, based on several best practices in forest restoration including:
- Woody residue treatments – practices that use various methods to treat debris left in burned areas such as tree trunks, branches, limbs, twigs and other debris
- Brush management
- Tree and shrub establishment
- Erosion control treatments
- Tree protection – practices to protect seedings and small trees from animal grazing and other damages
- Seed Collection – to support the growth of native trees through seed collection and propagation from the local area
- Weed Treatment
- Compensation rates for reforestation and revegetation will vary from approximately $4,500 to $9,000 per acre depending on burn severity of the property, with higher rates for more severely burned acres. The rates were derived from costs specific to the commercial market in the area of the fires. The rate structure that the Claims Office has developed substantially exceeds those paid following the Cerro Grande fire, even after adjusting for inflation.
- The Claims Office can assist claimants in determining the value for reforestation and revegetation, or claimants can use their own experts to provide estimates for their losses. Estimates provided by claimants will be considered and validated through the established per acre value based on burn severity of the land.
- The Claims Office will contact any claimant who has already submitted an NRCS plan to discuss how our expanded policy will impact them. If the NRCS pricing is lower than our valuation method, the Claims Office will provide additional compensation to any claimants who have already received payments for their NRCS plan.
- The Claims Office understands that many claimants earn income from their land that may have been lost by the fires. Claimants can request compensation for lost income and receive additional compensation for future lost income while the land recovers from the fires.
- Property owners who rely on their land for subsistence resources like firewood, hunting, or gathering herbs and other plants can request compensation for these resources based on when they are expected to become available again.
- The Claims Office can compensate claimants for landscaping trees and plant replacement close to the home.
How does it work?
- The first step is for claimants to submit a Notice of Loss to the Claims Office and work with the office to outline losses. If you have already submitted a Notice of Loss or have already requested an NRCS conservation restoration plan, please work with your navigator to start your request for reforestation and revegetation compensation or adjustment of an NRCS Plan.
- From there, the Claims Office will assist the claimant and support collaboration with experts to assess the extent of damage to their property. After identifying the damaged area, the Claims Office will work with the claimant to value reforestation and revegetation and help them prepare a proof of loss.
- Claimants with business or subsistence losses should work with their Navigator to identify damages, including how much they lost and when they would expect that resource to recover. The Claims Office can assist with those estimates.
- The Claims Office will evaluate landscaping claims based on verifiable quotes. Additionally, mature fruit trees will be compensated based on locally available replacement costs.