Funding now available for forest restoration projects

The Colorado State Forest Service is now accepting proposals from Colorado landowners, communities and others seeking funding to restore forested areas and protect water supplies.

The Colorado Forest Restoration Grant Program helps fund projects that demonstrate a community-based approach to forest restoration. Proposals, which are due by April 23, must address protection of water supplies or related infrastructure, as well as the restoration of forested watersheds.

Projects should focus on mitigating threats that affect watershed health, such as the build-up of vegetative fuels that increase the risk for severe wildfires, which could negatively impact water supplies. Specific project goals also could include preserving older trees, replanting deforested areas and improving the use of small-diameter trees as forest products. Work efforts can be located on private, federal, state, county or municipal forest lands.

Applicants also are encouraged to engage the Colorado Youth Corps to supply labor, to help connect Colorado youth to the importance of protecting watersheds and communities.

Projects must be located in communities with a CSFS-approved Community Wildfire Protection Plan. The state can fund up to 60 percent of each awarded project; grant recipients are required to match at least 40 percent of the total project cost through cash or in-kind contributions, which can include federal funds.

An interdisciplinary technical advisory panel, convened by the CSFS in partnership with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, will review project applications. The CSFS will notify successful applicants this summer.

Applications must be submitted electronically to local CSFS district offices by 4 p.m. April 23, 2015. Applications and additional information about the Forest Restoration Grant Program are available at CSFS districts and online at