Wildfire Council Receives Funding from Northern Water

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by Schelly Olson-Assistant Chief Grand Fire Protection Dist. No 1,

Grand County Wildfire Council (GCWC) received confirmation that Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District approved a request for funding in the amount of $10,000 to be used for wildfire mitigation/fuels reduction projects in and around critical watersheds in Grand County. The Mitigation Subcommittee of the Grand County Wildfire Council, in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Service, manages a Fuels Reduction Cost Share Program. The funds from Northern Water will supplement and complement the Colorado State Forest Service’s contribution to the Cost Share Program, thus allowing the Council to continue funding priority projects in Grand County through 2017. Priority projects include, but are not limited to, areas considered high and moderate “zonesof- concern” for Colorado-Big Thompson and Windy Gap project watersheds. “Many subdivisions and property owners in the county have made some real progress in recent years toward protecting themselves and their neighbors from the effects of wildfire.

It is great to see neighbors like Northern Water step up and partner with the community, provide assistance, and contribute to an effort that will benefit everyone in the long term,” said Brad White, Mitigation Subcommittee Chairperson for the Wildfire Council. Jerry Gibbens, Project Manager for Northern Water, stated in the letter, “We look forward to working with the Grand County Wildfire Council to reduce fire risk in Grand County and Colorado- Big Thompson and Windy Gap project watersheds.” The Grand County Wildfire Council is a non-profit, commumity based education a l outreach organization serving the residents and visitors of Grand County, Colorado. GCWC provides a countywide platform that connects practitioners to develop a collective voice to better advocate for wildfire resiliency.

The Council seeks to work collaboratively with members from local, state, and federal government agencies; local fire departments; homeowner groups; businesses; and concerned citizens in promoting wildfire prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and survival through education and action. For more information: www.bewildfireready.org. Northern Water is a public agency created in 1937 to contract with the federal government to build the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The C-BT Project collects water west of the Continental Divide and delivers it to Northeastern Colorado for agricultural, municipal, domestic and industrial uses.

Northern Water and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation jointly operate and maintain the C-BT Project. Its mission is to provide water resources management, project operations, and conservation services for project beneficiaries. For more information: www.northernwater. org.