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Forest Highlands

Forest HighlandsForest Highlands is a 1,100-acre private residential community nestled at 7,000 feet among majestic pines and groves of mature oaks and aspens; it is five miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona in Coconino County. The development consists of 825 home sites, with 655 homes constructed to date. The majority of the homes are second residences for the homeowner association's 877 members. Forest Highlands has its own 24-hour security staff, public works department, water and wastewater companies, two golf courses and all the normal amenities of a fully self-contained residential and recreational Community. The Highlands Fire District provides fire protection, with the fire department 1/4 mile from the community boundary.

Forest Highlands is a young community whose development started in January 1987 with the sale of the first home site. The first home was completed in early 1988. The vision for Forest Highlands was a pristine mountain wilderness community in perfect harmony with its dramatic natural environment. Ownership and management responsibilities transferred from the developer to a homeowners association (HOA) in January 1996. The HOA manages, controls and protects its community resources through a board and standing committees comprised of HOA members. The top priority for the HOA is- and has been-the protection of its members, their homes and of course home values. Because of its location within the largest stand of Ponderosa pines in the world, the number one threat to Forest Highlands is forest fire. Accordingly, the HOA has focused its protection and risk management initiatives on fire risk, protection and safety. The Board of Directors and the Firewise, Security, Public Works and Design Review Committees have led this effort.

Forest HighlandsThe HOA has implemented numerous actions to reduce the risk of fire and improve the community's response to and survival from wildfire. These actions are in many forms: design and development standards, HOA rules and regulations, operational policies and procedures, fuels reduction, member and employee awareness and education programs, equipment purchases, a Firewise Committee and Firewise assessments. While some of these actions took place before 2000, the HOA initiated aggressive "Firewise" actions that year.

Since January 2000, Forest Highlands has invested a total of $553,000 in Firewise activities - including $277,330 in 2004. These figures include $212,252 of Federal grant funding. Excluding the Federal grant, Firewise investments have been approximately $78 per capita per year since 2000 and $158 per capita for 2004. While many actions are complete, the HOA sees the Firewise process as one of continuous improvement - a dynamic implementation of Firewise actions. Forest Highlands truly embodies the spirit and intent of the Firewise Communities program.