Environment  June 28, 2021

Community Foundation distributes $670K for wildfire mitigation efforts

FORT COLLINS — The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado has distributed $670,000 from the NoCoFires Fund to help mitigate the impact of Colorado’s largest wildfires, the Cameron Peak Fire and the East Troublesome Fire.

The money comes from a designated fund that raised $750,000 to help combat fire impacts in the Poudre and Big Thompson river watersheds. Three nonprofit organizations received the distributions: Big Thompson Watershed Coalition, Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. Each of these nonprofits is active in the recovery efforts, the foundation said in a written statement. Grants are helping with staff and material costs incurred in environmental restoration. 

Fall Creek runs high through a jumble of fallen trees, June 8, 2021, the spring after the Cameron Peak Fire. Courtesy William A. Cotton, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado.

“The grant committee has done an incredible job identifying nonprofits and projects that will benefit the dozen communities in the burn scar and the hundreds of thousands of residents who depend upon the Poudre and Big Thompson rivers for their water,” Ella Fahrlander, chief engagement officer for the Community Foundation, said in a statement.  “We’re honored to provide funding, before federal dollars become available, so these groups can get to work on reducing the fire’s impact before the first monsoon season. Heartfelt thanks to those individuals, businesses, and foundations who contributed.”

Together, the two fires burned 400,000 acres of forest land, which in turn impacts water quality and river health. Mitigation experts estimate tens of millions of dollars will be needed to fully address the impacts to wildlife, recreation, agriculture, and drinking water supplies for approximately one million people.

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