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About $7M in new grants will support more than 30 forest health, wildfire mitigation projects across Colorado

Posted at 1:00 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 20:16:01-04

DENVER — More than $7 million will support 31 forest restoration and wildfire mitigation projects across Colorado, the state announced on Monday.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the counties that were awarded funds to help with these sorts of projects thanks to the 2023-2024 Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) grant program grant cycle, which was established by the Colorado legislature in 2017. The grant program is managed by the Colorado State Forest Service.

Through the grants, the state assists communities and groups to reduce wildfire risk in their area, while also promoting forest health. Funding from this round of FRWRM grants will go to projects in the following 17 counties: Boulder, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Huerfano, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Montezuma, Park, Pitkin and Routt.

Within these counties, $7.2 million will help Coloradans build the capacity to address wildfires, reduce its risk to people, property and infrastructure, promote forest health and restoration and more across 3,715 acres of forest and communities.

“These local grants play an important role in protecting lives, property and the Colorado way of life,” said Matt McCombs, state forester and CSFS director. “The need for these resources, to ensure resilient forests and lower the risk of wildfire across the state, cannot be overstated.”

The projects include:

  1. Broadmoor Resort Community HOA — Broadmoor Resort Community Wildfire Mitigation Plan — $143,900
  2. City of Fort Collins — Michigan Ditch Pre-Fire Mitigation — $507,805
  3. Clear Creek Fire Authority — Clear Creek Community Chipping Program — $26,500
  4. Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed — North Rim Road Wildfire Mitigation 2023 — $90,000
  5. Coalition for the Upper South Platte — Catamount Region Forest Health — $57,657
  6. Coalition for the Upper South Platte — CUSP Chipper — $75,306
  7. Colorado Firecamp — Firecamp Community Forestry — $468,600
  8. Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) — Blodgett Fuels Reduction — Blodgett Fuels Reduction
  9. Colorado Springs Fire Department Wildfire Mitigation Section — CSFD Wildfire Mitigation Masticator — $141,500
  10. Colorado State Land Board — Pine Creek Forest Health — $40,000
  11. Douglas County Open Space and Natural Resources — Sandstone Ranch Forest Restoration — Sandstone Ranch Forest Restoration
  12. Eagle Valley Wildland (Eagle River Fire Protection District) — Eagle Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project Addendum — $262,090
  13. Falls Creek Ranch Association, Inc. — Falls Creek Healthy Forest Restoration — $65,000
  14. Falls Creek Ranch Association, Inc.Falls Creek Ranch Association, Inc. — $65,000 — $37,000
  15. Genesee Fire Rescue — Genesee Fire Protection District Strategic Fuels Reduction — $68,000
  16. Genesee Fire Rescue — Genesee FPD Chipper — $50,000
  17. Jefferson Conservation District — Lone Rock Phase 2 — $157,190
  18. La Plata County — Durango Area Fuel Reduction Plan Development — $138,750
  19. Lake Agnes Property Owners Association (LAPOA) — Lake Agnes Fuel Break and Access Road Fuel Reduction Project — $113,317
  20. Larimer Conservation District — Diamond Creek Forest Restoration — $450,000
  21. Larimer Conservation District — Elk Park Forest Restoration — $663,750
  22. Larimer County Department of Natural Resources — Hermit Park Open Space - Estes Valley Forest Health Project — $102,000
  23. Lee Driscoll — Castle View Forest Restoration Project — $775,000
  24. Lefthand FPD — Upper Ceran St. Vrain Watershed 2023 — $243,029
  25. Mancos Conservation District — Upper Dolores & Mancos Watershed Capacity — $421,995
  26. Norrie Colony — Norrie Fire Break and Fuel Reduction Project — $25,600
  27. North Routt Fire Protection District — NoRoCo Fire Mitigation — $517,000
  28. Roaring Fork Valley Wildfire Collaborative (RFVWC) — Roaring Fork Valley Wildfire Collaborative (RFVWC) — $112,000
  29. Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection (SPAWP) — SPAWP 2023-2024 FRWRM GrantSPAWP 2023-2024 FRWRM Grant — $628,440
  30. The Sanctuary HOA/Central Park Management — The Sanctuary HOA/Central Park Management — $60,000
  31. Woodmoor Mountain Homeowners Association — Woodmoor Mountain Mitigation Project 2.0 — $303,750

The FRWRM grant program has a matching requirement, the state said. Applicants out of areas with fewer economic resources must match at least 25% of the project's total, while other applicants must match 50%. Including the matching funds, investments in these projects totals more than $15 million.
“The Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation is funding strategic forestry and wildfire mitigation projects, building fire adapted communities and resilient landscapes in Colorado,” said Dan Gibbs, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “These matching funds bring sustainable and needed investments in wildfire mitigation and forest health making an on the ground difference for Colorado communities.”

Almost 80 applications were submitted this round, requesting more than $18 million.

Dorie Dalton, wildland specialist with the Genesse Fire Protection District, said Genesee has not had a major wildfire in recent memory, but the area is becoming overgrown, so the department hopes to return the landscape to a healthy forest.

"It's very overgrown. You saw the densely packed areas," Dalton said. "So that's something we're trying to mitigate — to reduce the wildfire risk and to also put it back the way it was before... The fires were suppressed for so long."

The 2024-2025 request for applications for this grant program will open up later this summer. To learn more and receive updates, click here.

"Colorado is a leader in wildfire prevention, mitigation and response and we continue working to ensure our communities have the resources they need. This new support will protect people, homes, and infrastructure and reduce wildfire threats," Gov. Polis said.

The relatively wet and cool conditions in 2023 allowed more new flammable vegetation to grow around the state. The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control typically releases its yearly wildfire outlook in April. Click here to read last year's outlook.

$7M in new grants will support Colorado forest health, fire mitigation projects

To explore the interactive Wildfire Risk Viewer, click here.

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