DENVER — Tuesday, May 6, 2014 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today $1.7 million in grants to reduce wildfire risk in communities across Colorado. The grants will be directed to 27 projects in 13 counties to treat approximately 6,500 acres in areas where human development and forested landscapes overlap, often called the wildland-urban interface.
The Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program, created under Senate Bill 13-269 and passed last year by the Colorado General Assembly, focuses on projects that reduce the risk for damage to property, infrastructure and water supplies, and those that limit the likelihood of wildfires spreading into populated areas. Funds are directed to non-federal lands within Colorado. This is the second round of grants awarded under the program.
In all, this round of grants will generate more than $4 million worth of work on the ground, due to a 100 percent match requirement for applicants. Every project selected includes plans to use the woody material that will be generated. Additionally, the program includes a tracking element to monitor and gauge the effectiveness of each selected project.
A portion of the awards are “capacity-building” grants, designed to provide communities with equipment that will enable them to treat hazardous fuels on state and private lands going forward. Those capacity-building grants totaled $264,888, or 15 percent of the total funding awarded. The legislation caps those grants at 25 percent of the total.
A third round of grant proposals will be solicited in the summer to award about $4 million in additional funds. The first round of grants was distributed in August, when more than $4 million was provided to 25 projects across 16 counties.
The $1,738,044 in grants announced today have been awarded to the following local governments and organizations (counties in parentheses): Bell Mountain Ranch Consolidated Metropolitan District (Douglas); Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District (Boulder); Clear Creek County Solid Waste Department (Clear Creek); Coalition for the Upper South Platte (Park); Colorado Rio Grande Restoration Foundation (Alamosa); Colorado Springs Fire Department (El Paso); Costilla County; Echo Hills Homeowners Association (Jefferson); El Paso County; Eldorado Canyon State Park (Boulder); Fern Creek Firewise Community (Mineral); FireWire of Southwest Colorado/San Juan Mountains Association (La Plata); Genesee Foundation (Jefferson); Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; La Plata County; Northern Water Conservancy District (Larimer); Preserve at Pine Meadows (Jefferson); Summit County; Sunshine Fire Protection District (Boulder); Saws & Saws (Jefferson); Uncompahgre Corn Inc. (Montrose); Upper Pine River Fire Protection District (La Plata); Woodmoor Improvement Association (El Paso); and Zapata Homeowners (Alamosa).
All applicants were required to coordinate proposed projects with relevant county officials to ensure consistency with county-level wildfire risk reduction planning. A list of the individual grant awards, as well as a more detailed overview of the grant program and its requirements and limitations, is available through this link at the Department of Natural
Resources website: http://dnr.state.co.us/Media/Pages/WRRGProgram.aspx.