Note to Reporters: The full report is listed with the press release at www.news.colostate.edu.
Colorado State Forest Service American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants positively impacted the lives of 341 Coloradans in 2010, according to a recent report. The jobs created or retained as a result of ARRA funding span the forested part of Colorado from Fort Collins to Dolores.
“My daughter is still in college because of this job,” said Don Stanford, who was hired by a Steamboat Springs logging firm just five days after his employer of 16 years closed his business. And Ricky Romanin, a member of the new Larkspur Fire Department fuels mitigation crew, said, “This job gives me the opportunity to be a part of the leading force in helping my community be prepared in case of a large wildfire.” Both jobs were made possible through ARRA grants.
In 2009, the CSFS successfully competed for a Community Wildfire Protection Plan and Development Grant and a High-Priority Forest Restoration and Fuels Mitigation Grant through the U.S. Forest Service totaling $10.7 million. In November 2009, the CSFS awarded funds to 16 sub-recipients who applied for funds through a competitive grant process.
Ten sub-recipients used ARRA funds to address forest-health issues on private, municipal or state land. As a result, 2,787 acres of hazardous fuels and overcrowded vegetation were treated in Colorado. Another four sub-recipients make products out of local wood. The remaining two sub-recipients are developing or updating Community Wildfire Protection Plans; two plans were completed in 2010 and 15 are scheduled for completion in 2011.
ARRA grant projects will be completed in September 2011, and the CSFS expects to generate additional jobs while addressing important forest-health issues in the upcoming year. The ARRA funds have been a boost to struggling businesses and have allowed local governments with reduced budgets the opportunity to move forward with high-priority projects. The positive benefits to Colorado’s forests, wildlife and rural and urban communities are already evident and will continue well into the future.
For additional information about the Colorado State Forest Service, the ARRA grants and sub-recipient projects, visit http://csfs.colostate.edu/.
The Colorado State Forest Service is a division of Colorado State University’s Warner College of Natural Resources.