FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State Forest Service is now accepting applications for a new grant program designed to assist local governments with their established forest management and wildfire mitigation efforts. In its first year, the Incentives for Local Government (ILG) grant program has a $9.5 million funding pool. Local government entities, such as municipalities, counties, cities and special districts, are eligible to apply.
“Effective forest management and wildfire mitigation truly begin at the local level,” said Matt McCombs, state forester and director of the CSFS. “Many towns, counties and municipalities across Colorado have already stepped up and dedicated funding and resources to activities like fuel breaks, forest thinning, and education and outreach. This new competitive grant program funded by the Colorado State Legislature helps sustain and expand this critical work.”
The Colorado Legislature created this funding source in 2022, and qualifying projects target forest management or wildfire mitigation efforts at a local level, such as fuel breaks, forest thinning, reducing the amount of fuels contributing to wildfires, and outreach and education efforts. This program is one way Colorado works to reduce the potential risk of wildfire damage and limit the probability of wildfires spreading into populated areas.
There is a fund-matching component of the grant awards. The state can fund up to 50 or 75 percent of the cost of each awarded project; grant recipients are required to match at least 50 or 25 percent of the total project cost. The required matching amount depends on whether the project location falls within an area of “fewer economic resources,” as identified in the Colorado Forest Atlas.
Special consideration will be given to applicants who have a dedicated revenue source for wildfire mitigation or forest health. Additionally, projects within higher priority areas identified in the 2020 Colorado Forest Action Plan and projects that emphasize a regional approach are preferred.
Application deadline is April 5, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. MDT. Awards will be announced May 3, 2023, and the projects must be completed by July 1, 2027. Applications and additional information about the ILG grant program are available on the CSFS website.