HEIL VALLEY RANCH — About $18 million of the initial federal infrastructure dollars will be used for wildfire mitigation on up to 10,000 acres across the Arapaho and Roosevelt and Pike-San Isabel national forests, including for projects in Boulder County.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore; Interior Secretary Deb Haaland; Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, both D-Colorado; and Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette; visited Heil Valley Ranch to announce the wider $131 million initial funding for the Forest Service’s 10-year wildfire strategy. Colorado’s $18 million share is part of that gift.

The two national forests in Colorado set to receive funding are an important source of water for the Colorado Front Range, making it a critical landscape to reduce the likelihood, intensity and size of wildfires.

The area dubbed the Colorado Front Range includes 3.5 million acres and is set to receive a total of $170.4 million between now and fiscal year 2024, which includes future planned funding.

Since the Calwood Fire in 2020, a team has been working to clear hazardous trees, add mulch to the cover and conduct other mitigation work at Boulder County’s Heil Valley Ranch. (Deborah Swearingen / Staff Writer)

Locally, the Forest Service will implement the St. Vrain Forest Health Collaborative Partnership project, west of Heil Valley Ranch. The project aims to improve regional forest and river resilience in the St. Vrain Watershed.

With multiple large-scale wildfires occurring within Boulder County in just over a year, officials on Monday acknowledged that there is no longer a “fire season” in Colorado. The risk remains throughout the year.

Because of this, proactivity will be key and less costly than rebuilding after the fact. If those leading mitigation work can decrewase the size of the areas at high risk for wildfire, even without fully eliminating the risk, it makes it safer and easier for firefighters to do their work.

“If we keep investing in (putting out) fires, we’re just going to get more of this,” Colorado Forest Restoration Institute Director Tony Chang said, pointing to a map full of the bright red color indicating high wildfire risk.

When identifying the ten locations across eight states that are set to receive the initial funding, the USDA Forest Service aimed to identify places with a variety of characteristics, including those with projects that are at scale or can be built out to scale; that are collaboratively developed with communities and ready for implementation; and that allow for investment in underserved communities.

It also considered where infrastructure investments could reduce the exposure of people, communities and natural resources to the risk of catastrophic wildfire.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore speaks Monday. April 11, 2022, at Heil Valley Ranch, where officials unveiled $131 million in federal dollars that will be used for wildfire mitigation across eight western states. (Deborah Swearingen / Staff Writer )

Overgrown forests, a warming climate and a growing number of homes in the wildland-urban interface, following more than a century of rigorous fire suppression, have all contributed to what is now a full-blown wildfire and forest health crisis, according to the USDA Forest Service’s 10-year strategy.

In terms of what mitigation projects in the various locations will look like, Forest Supervisor for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland Monte Williams noted that it’s very much “about fuel.”

“And it’s not just about the fuel you see standing up. It’s about the fuel that’s actually laying on the ground,” he said. “For a long time, we thought all we needed to do was just go and thin the forest … the truth is we recognize it’s a lot more than that. You’ve actually got to take care of that fuel that’s on the ground.”

The charred remains of trees still shroud the mountainside at Heil Valley Ranch, where the approximately 10,000-acre Calwood Fire burned through in 2020. Since that fire, a team has been removing hazardous trees and using mulch to replace the cover lost during the fire.

“At this point, there’s no margin for error,” Haaland said. “Climate change is making the fire seasons more intense as our firefighters deal with hotter, dryer conditions and more extreme fire behavior. The increased frequency of fires in urban areas is impacting more homes, businesses and communities every year.”

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HEIL VALLEY RANCH — About $18 million of the initial federal infrastructure dollars will be used for wildfire mitigation on up to 10,000 acres across the Arapaho and Roosevelt and Pike-San Isabel national forests, including for projects in Boulder County.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore; Interior Secretary Deb Haaland; Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, both D-Colorado; and Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Lafayette; visited Heil Valley Ranch to announce the wider $131 million initial funding for the Forest Service’s 10-year wildfire strategy. Colorado’s $18 million share is part of that gift.

The two national forests in Colorado set to receive funding are an important source of water for the Colorado Front Range, making it a critical landscape to reduce the likelihood, intensity and size of wildfires.

The area dubbed the Colorado Front Range includes 3.5 million acres and is set to receive a total of $170.4 million between now and fiscal year 2024, which includes future planned funding.

Since the Calwood Fire in 2020, a team has been working to clear hazardous trees, add mulch to the cover and conduct other mitigation work at Boulder County’s Heil Valley Ranch. (Deborah Swearingen / Staff Writer)

Locally, the Forest Service will implement the St. Vrain Forest Health Collaborative Partnership project, west of Heil Valley Ranch. The project aims to improve regional forest and river resilience in the St. Vrain Watershed.

With multiple large-scale wildfires occurring within Boulder County in just over a year, officials on Monday acknowledged that there is no longer a “fire season” in Colorado. The risk remains throughout the year.

Because of this, proactivity will be key and less costly than rebuilding after the fact. If those leading mitigation work can decrewase the size of the areas at high risk for wildfire, even without fully eliminating the risk, it makes it safer and easier for firefighters to do their work.

“If we keep investing in (putting out) fires, we’re just going to get more of this,” Colorado Forest Restoration Institute Director Tony Chang said, pointing to a map full of the bright red color indicating high wildfire risk.

When identifying the ten locations across eight states that are set to receive the initial funding, the USDA Forest Service aimed to identify places with a variety of characteristics, including those with projects that are at scale or can be built out to scale; that are collaboratively developed with communities and ready for implementation; and that allow for investment in underserved communities.

It also considered where infrastructure investments could reduce the exposure of people, communities and natural resources to the risk of catastrophic wildfire.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore speaks Monday. April 11, 2022, at Heil Valley Ranch, where officials unveiled $131 million in federal dollars that will be used for wildfire mitigation across eight western states. (Deborah Swearingen / Staff Writer )

Overgrown forests, a warming climate and a growing number of homes in the wildland-urban interface, following more than a century of rigorous fire suppression, have all contributed to what is now a full-blown wildfire and forest health crisis, according to the USDA Forest Service’s 10-year strategy.

In terms of what mitigation projects in the various locations will look like, Forest Supervisor for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland Monte Williams noted that it’s very much “about fuel.”

“And it’s not just about the fuel you see standing up. It’s about the fuel that’s actually laying on the ground,” he said. “For a long time, we thought all we needed to do was just go and thin the forest … the truth is we recognize it’s a lot more than that. You’ve actually got to take care of that fuel that’s on the ground.”

The charred remains of trees still shroud the mountainside at Heil Valley Ranch, where the approximately 10,000-acre Calwood Fire burned through in 2020. Since that fire, a team has been removing hazardous trees and using mulch to replace the cover lost during the fire.

“At this point, there’s no margin for error,” Haaland said. “Climate change is making the fire seasons more intense as our firefighters deal with hotter, dryer conditions and more extreme fire behavior. The increased frequency of fires in urban areas is impacting more homes, businesses and communities every year.”

, Boulder County set to benefit from $18 million designated for wildfi… , Deborah Swearingen , 2022-04-12 00:31:20 , Boulder Daily Camera , https://www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/DCC-L-HaalandVisit02-ds-e1649723566831.jpg?w=1400px&strip=all , https://www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/DCC-L-HaalandVisit02-ds-e1649723566831.jpg?w=1024&h=909 , [rule_{ruleNumber}] , [rule_{ruleNumber}_plain] , , , https://www.dailycamera.com/2022/04/11/boulder-county-set-to-benefit-from-18-million-designated-for-wildfire-mitigation-across-colorado/ , https://www.dailycamera.com/2022/04/11/boulder-county-set-to-benefit-from-18-million-designated-for-wildfire-mitigation-across-colorado/ , www.dailycamera.com , https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailycamera.com%2F2022%2F04%2F11%2Fboulder-county-set-to-benefit-from-18-million-designated-for-wildfire-mitigation-across-colorado%2F , Colorado News,Latest Headlines,Local News,News,Wildfire, #Boulder #County #set #benefit #million #designated #wildfi