Two local wildland fire risk mitigation projects received a grant this week as part of a total of $ 6.4 million in summer grants awarded statewide through the Forest restoration and forest fire risk mitigation administered by the Colorado State Forest Service.
The Town of Steamboat Springs received a matching grant of $ 34,800 for a forest treatment project located north and east of the Fish Creek Water Treatment Plant. The total project estimated at nearly $ 70,000 will include funding from the city and the Mount Werner Aquatic District for work that will take place from summer to fall 2022.
Forest Service grant program director Diana Selby said the town’s project is intended to help protect Steamboat’s drinking water supply and will include treating fuels by chewing through Gambel oak vegetation on 46 acres. Treatments will be implemented in a mosaic pattern across the project area to provide adequate fuel breaks, breaking the horizontal and vertical continuity of vegetation to reduce the possibility of forest fire spread. The project will also improve habitat for elk and mule deer.
The Colorado Cattleman’s Agricultural Land Trust, based in Arvada, which has a satellite office in Steamboat, received a $ 20,000 grant for a forest fire risk mitigation project in Catamount municipal water, which will reduce fuels in a high risk forest fire zone within the forest-urban interface to the east of the Catamount subdivision and the golf course. The mitigation project will help protect homeowners’ property and Catamount’s drinking water resources, said Sally Ross, director of the restoration and resilience program at the trust, which owns the conservation easement on the ground.
The total cost of the Catamount project planned for early summer 2022 is estimated at $ 40,000, with matching funding provided by the Metropolitan District of Catamount. The plot abuts the US Forest Service and private land and is a critical wintering and calving area for elk and mule deer, Ross said. Grant funds will support the establishment of a defensible space around a drinking water tank and the creation of a fuel cut on a total of 60 acres of Gambel oak vegetation. The treatment methods will mainly be chewing with a few more manual cuts and connect the previously attenuated areas.
Increased funding for the forest restoration and forest fire risk mitigation program was secured during this spring’s state legislative session to help address the growing threat of forest fire. forest in Colorado. During this grant cycle, the Colorado State Forest Service awarded funding to 42 applicants from 25 counties in the state.
The Forest Service helps large landowners, community groups, municipalities, local fire departments and HOAs obtain grants and assistance for projects that help residents and communities prepare for wildfires and improve forest health. More information on grant funding opportunities is available at CSFS.ColoState.edu/funding-assistance.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email [email protected]