Forest Service offering grants for groups to help rebuild wildfire-stricken forests

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Groups that want to help rebuild Colorado forests after this summer's wildfires can now apply for a state grant.

Throughout the month of September, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) will accept grant proposals to groups that want to restore forested areas, improve forest health and reduce wildfire risk on non-federal lands in the state, the CSFS announced Tuesday.

Colorado HOAs, community groups, local governments, utilities and nonprofit organizations are welcome to submit applications to the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program.

The summer of wildfires served as a reminder that many forested areas in Colorado are unhealthy and fire-prone, according to CSFS. Those who want to take action to help, but don’t have the means, can get funding through these grants.

The grant program will fund projects that strategically reduce potential wildfire risk to property, infrastructure and water supplies, and promote healthy forests through science-based practices, according to CSFS. These competitive grants are designed to help reduce wildfire risk to people and property.

All applications must have a focus on promoting forest health and addressing the reduction of hazardous fuels that could encourage a wildfire. The projects must be located on private, state, county or municipal forest lands, according to CSFS.

The state can fund up to half cost of each awarded project. Grant recipients are required to match at least 50 percent of the total cost through cash or in-kind contributions.

The CSFS will work with successful applicants to monitor the effectiveness and completion of each project.

Applications and additional information about the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program are available at CSFS Field Offices and online here. All applications must be submitted electronically to local CSFS Field Offices by 5 p.m. on Oct. 3.

A technical advisory panel convened by the CSFS will review project applications. Successful applicants will be notified in the spring.

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