Colorado Wildfire Mitigation Grants

Colorado Invests Over $7 Million in Forest Restoration and Wildfire Mitigation Projects

DENVER, CO – In a significant push towards enhancing forest health and reducing wildfire risks, Colorado is set to allocate more than $7 million to 31 forest restoration and wildfire mitigation projects across the state. This initiative, announced by Gov. Jared Polis, is a part of the 2023-2024 Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) grant program cycle. Established by the Colorado legislature in 2017 and managed by the Colorado State Forest Service, the program aims to bolster the state’s efforts in promoting sustainable forest management and mitigating wildfire risks.

The grants, totaling $7.2 million, will benefit projects in 17 counties, including Boulder, Chaffee, and Denver, covering an expansive 3,715 acres of forest and community lands. This strategic investment is designed to enhance the capacity of Coloradans to address wildfire threats effectively, safeguard people, property, and infrastructure, and promote forest health and restoration.

Among the notable projects receiving funding are the Broadmoor Resort Community’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan, the City of Fort Collins’ Michigan Ditch Pre-Fire Mitigation, and the Coalition for the Upper South Platte’s Catamount Region Forest Health project. Each project aims to implement critical forest management and wildfire prevention measures to ensure the resilience and sustainability of Colorado’s forested landscapes.

The FRWRM grant program’s matching requirement, which mandates applicants from less economically advantaged areas to match at least 25% of the project’s total cost, while others must match 50%, is a testament to the collaborative effort between the state and local communities in tackling these environmental challenges. With the inclusion of matching funds, the total investment in these projects exceeds $15 million.

Dan Gibbs, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, highlighted the importance of these matching funds in creating sustainable and necessary investments in wildfire mitigation and forest health. “These strategic forestry and wildfire mitigation projects are building fire-adapted communities and resilient landscapes in Colorado,” Gibbs stated.

This funding round attracted nearly 80 applications, with requests surpassing $18 million, indicating the high demand and critical need for support in wildfire mitigation and forest restoration efforts across the state. As Colorado continues to lead in wildfire prevention, mitigation, and response, the FRWRM grants represent a pivotal step forward in protecting the state’s natural resources and communities from the ever-present threat of wildfires.

The success of these projects could serve as a model for other states grappling with similar environmental challenges, showcasing the importance of proactive investment in forest health and wildfire mitigation. As the FRWRM grant program prepares to open its 2024-2025 application cycle later this summer, it remains a beacon of hope for a safer and more sustainable future for Colorado’s forests and communities.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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