March 2022
COSWAP funding is in motion and one grant opportunity includes crew time from CYCA, another RMRI Partner. In the Southwest, the Wildfire and Watershed Protection Fund (WWPF) was established by an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Durango, La Plata County and Durango Fire Protection District. The Upper South Platte Partnership secured funding for a watershed coordinator for the first year—this is big news! And in the Upper Arkansas, the Envision Forest Health Council reports $19 million raised to-date, as well as more than 1,600 community members taking action to implement Chaffee County’s CWPP. And the AP reports that in places like the Upper South Platte, increasingly erratic weather means snow is not always there when needed—and that seriously complicates year-round wildland firefighting.
COSWAP funding supports work at scale, like RMRI landscapes RMRI
The Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program (COSWAP) moves $17.5 million in state stimulus funding to fuels reduction and wildfire mitigation projects in Colorado. Strategic Focus Areas include Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, La Plata and Teller counties, as well as all three RMRI landscapes. RMRI Partners can apply for a workforce development grant or landscape investment. Stakeholders within RMRI focal areas can apply for 6-25 weeks mitigation work completed by conservation corps or Department of Corrections SWIFT crews. “The Applicant does not need to be affiliated with RMRI to apply for funds,” explains the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) workforce development grant application, “but we highly recommend connecting with RMRI partners to develop projects.” Additionally, RMRI partners are eligible to receive up to $1 million in landscape scale funding. DNR is doing direct outreach to RMRI focal areas for strategic cross boundary landscape investment proposals for implementation, planning and personnel capacity.  
Colorado Youth Corps Association RMRI
COSWAP has four opportunities to apply for the Workforce Development Grant, one of which includes Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) accredited conservation corps crew time to execute wildfire mitigation projects. Conservation corps (CYCA accredited or non-CYCA accredited) are available in all three RMRI landscapes, according to the grant application. Proposals can be submitted any time. They are reviewed at least once a month, with the scoring committee awarding qualified proposals. Scott Segerstrom, the CYCA Executive Director, stressed that while a significant amount of dollars remains to be awarded, more than $1 million has been allocated already and that remaining pot is reduced each month. He also emphasized that it is a requirement for applicants to connect with their local corps (if they choose the conservation service corps option and not the SWIFT option), which should be one of the first steps. A list to see where specific corps contacts are located is at
Southwest partners tap into newly created fund for thinning project RMRI-SW 
The Wildfire and Watershed Protection Fund (WWPF) was established by an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Durango, La Plata County and Durango Fire Protection District. By working together the WWPF will increase the effectiveness of all wildfire mitigation efforts. In fact, WWPF has already been deployed to complete its first fire mitigation project at the Purple Cliffs. The goal of the thinning project was to reduce the risk of a fire spreading from the wildland to the camp and vice versa. Durango Fire Protection District’s wildland crew completed the work in 320 work hours. The WWPF paid about $9,200, paying only crew time and saving La Plata County residents of money.
USPP secures funding for watershed coordinator for first year RMRI-Upper South Platte
Work in the Upper South Platte landscape is led by the Upper South Platte Partnership (USPP), a collaboration between government agencies, water providers, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions. The USPP is nearing completion in selecting its first Watershed Coordinator. The coordinator will bring multiple stakeholders in the USPP watershed together to prioritize and accelerate forest restoration. The position, once filled, will be a boon to collaborative work in the RMRI-Upper South Platte landscape. The position is only funded through the first year as officials with the Colorado State Forest Service and U.S. Forest Service determine future funding. If your agency can support, please contact Allen Gallamore at Colorado State Forest Service (
Forest Health Council releases 2nd Annual Community Update on CWPP Implementation RMRI-Upper Arkansas
In its latest annual report, the Envision Forest Health Council reports $19 million raised to-date, as well as more than 1,600 community members taking action to implement Chaffee County’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The plan sets a course for improving wildfire resiliency through strategic forest treatments and additional actions. It was updated in 2020 using computer modeling technology to identify the right acres to treat, to reduce wildfire threat and protect assets like water supply and infrastructure. At that time, the Forest Health Council formed to ensure the plan’s goals are implemented. The council currently has more than 40 members. The 2021 report is the second annual summary of progress toward improved wildfire resiliency in Chaffee County.
RMRI-SW Steering Committee prioritizes PODs, strategies RMRI-SW 
The RMRI-Southwest Steering Committee has prioritized its PODs based on stakeholder input. The next step is to use this information to develop draft strategies in these POD by late spring or early summer. PODs are Potential Operational Delineations used primarily in wildland firefighting. PODs serve as a land management tool that compartmentalize the land into manageable segments. PODs are essentially “containers” with potential control features, such as roads and ridge tops.


Animas City Mountain prescribed burn scheduled in Southwest RMRI-SW 
The Bureau of Land Management Tres Rios Field Office has planned a prescribed fire treatment for up to 717 acres on Animas City Mountain in Durango, Colorado, to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfire, improve forest health and wildlife habitat. Implementation of the burn will depend on weather and the availability of fire personnel to conduct the operation and could take place as early as the spring of 2022. The burn is expected to take 2-4 days for ignitions, with additional days to patrol the area and extinguish hot spots. More…


CPW plans prescribed burn in Southwest RMRI-SW 
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is working with SW Colorado partners to determine the feasibility of a prescribed burn on Perins Peak State Wildlife Area. CPW completed mechanical thinning on the SWA several years ago and recognizes the ecological and wildfire benefits of following those treatments with a carefully planned burn. This project is adjacent to COLUMBINE 1, a high priority POD.

Forest treatments continue on Methodist Front RMRI-Upper Arkansas
Work on the Methodist Front community fuel break continues. BLM collaborated with CSFS to connect fire mitigation work and create a linear, effective fuel break across the foothills of the mountain. CSFS is managing treatments on private property in the fuel break. Methodist Front was the first project designed and funded through collaborative efforts of the Envision Forest Health Council’s 40-plus members, who are working to help the community treat priority areas and reduce the wildfire risk, as outlined in the Chaffee County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. More…


RMRI Partner CFRI part of institute receiving $20 million from the US government RMRI
The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute (CFRI) and two other university organizations are receiving $20 million as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The three institutes will work collaboratively on three key components with the funding. They will develop a national database of existing data on fuel treatments and wildfires, work with managers, planners, and policymakers to facilitate use and applications of the data, and research outcomes of forest management and wildfires to learn what works. More…

NWTF launches ‘Waterways for Wildlife Initiative’ in western wildlands, Colorado RMRI
RMRI co-convener the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is targeting 75,000 acres of wildlife habitat for improvement. It will improve 1,500 linear miles of Great Plains waterways in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. More…


Interior Announces Plan to Implement Historic Wildland Fire Management Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law RMRI
On Feb. 16, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Wildland Fire announced initial plans for investing nearly $1.5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to increase the resilience of communities and lands facing the threat of wildland fires and to better support federal wildland firefighters. This increases DOI’s wildland fire management funding by 29%. The Department’s initial plan for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes investments in the wildland fire management programs at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More…

CPW accepting grant applications for underserved communities RMRI 
Applications for grants to widen accessibility to the outdoors for Coloradans from underserved communities are now being accepted by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Colorado Outdoor Equity Grant Board. Non-profit organizations, Tribes, schools, governments and for-profit businesses may apply. More…


Colorado State Forest Service RMRI
In 2021, the Colorado State Legislature passed a bill to establish a new biomass utilization grant program in the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS). The bill did not establish any new funding for the program, so the CSFS had to look at its current budget to generate funding for the program. The CSFS rolled out the program in an unofficial capacity. Eight projects applied for funding. Most of the allocated funding has been to support existing programs and operations. Funding also went to the Oregon Department of Forestry to build a platform to identify opportunities for mass timber development in Colorado. Additional funding went an applicant to conduct a Bioeconomy Development Opportunity (BDO) Zone analysis to identify areas for potential capital investment into biomass facilities. A BDO presentation was delivered to RMRI in August 2021. The funding is flexible and can go to operators as well. The CSFS currently has a cap of $50,000 per eligible project.

U.S. Forest Service Region 2 Timber Map RMRI
The U.S. Forest Service Region 2 recently developed the timber map explorer. The map identifies the location of current forest business operations to help those implementing forest treatment projects identify potential outlets for project material. The map also includes fireshed and jurisdictional boundaries. It is possible to download the map layers for grant applications. The map is still missing spatial data on National Environmental Policy Action (NEPA) analyses. The map will be updated periodically to maintain its utility. Map…
#1 barrier facing forest restoration: “Finding skilled workers”
A major barrier to increasing the pace and scale of restoration treatments and reducing the threat of wildfire is a lack of forest product industry workforce and capacity, according to a study that surveyed logging, trucking, and business contractors in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. In fact, 85% of respondents said that outside training was not an option for its employees! The study was conducted by the Ecological Restoration Institute, and was initially briefed to the RMRI Workforce Capacity Subcommittee Jan. 27, 2021. White Paper | Fact Sheet

NWTF and Forest Service Awards Recognize Conservation Achievements
The National Wild Turkey Federation’s Making Tracks with the USDA Forest Service awards recognize people and projects that best incorporate conservation education, partnerships and wild turkey management. This year, NWTF awarded its habitat award to the U.S. Forest Service RMRI implementation team. The Habitat Management Program category recognizes multiple years of outstanding ecosystem restoration that improves wild turkey habitat. More…

How the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law affects DOI, USDA
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law”) into law. In the next year, the U.S. Department of the Interior will increase its work to reduce the risk of wildfires to communities by more than 30% – removing over 300,000 acres of burnable fuels in the places where communities and wildlands meet. Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service expects to execute hazardous fuels reduction work on more than 4 million acres. Fact Sheet

Ranger district provides firewood for Navajo community
The Dolores Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest is providing firewood to help heat homes in the Chinle area of the Navajo Nation. More…

EPA awards $992,464 to CSU for research to protect public health during wildfires
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $992,464 in research grant funding to Colorado State University to improve communication of air quality information and smoke exposure risks during wildfire events. The Colorado State University research team will build partnerships with communities within Colorado to expand air quality monitoring coverage and improve communication with impacted communities about smoke exposure. More…

Free Washington Post subscription with a valid .gov or .mil email address
Members of the U.S. military and government with a valid .mil, or .gov email address, are eligible for free digital content access to The Washington Post. More…

Understanding the USFS’s new wildfire strategy with Brian Ferebee
"So it’ll really take a coalition of partners to really address this work," said Brian Ferebee, former RMRI planner and Rocky Mountain Regional Forester, on the U.S. Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. RMRI serves as a model for how the Wildfire Crisis Strategy implementation can be formed with partners coming alongside the USFS.

AP: Changing snowfall makes it harder to fight fire with fire
Increasingly erratic weather means snow is not always there when needed to safely burn off tall debris piles like those on Colorado’s Pike-San Isabel National Forest. And that seriously complicates the job of exhausted firefighters, now forced into service year-round. More…
Biomass Utilization Subcommittee

Notes from the Feb. 16 meeting are available here.

  • The U.S. Forest Service, Region 2 Office received seven proposals for the Wood Innovations grant program and three proposals for the Community Wood grant program. Region 2 sent all proposals to the Washington Office for national review. The Washington Office should announce the funded projects in May.

  • The Steamboat Springs ski resort is expanding. They are interested in exploring options to use biomass to heat their new facilities.

  • Colorado Springs Utilities is interested in finding ways to support woody biomass utilization. They have been in discussions with a sawmill in Oregon interested in taking Colorado logs via railroads. There may be an opportunity to use Infrastructure Bill funding to build sort yards next to railroads to transport timber and finished products from Colorado. One challenge with transporting wood products via railroads is major pest issues. There are fewer pest-related issues transporting wood chips rather than logs. 

  • Blanca Forest Products is expanding its facility and may be interested in taking wood from federal projects, which they traditionally have not done. 

  • A bill has recently been introduced into the Colorado State Legislature to help establish an apprenticeship program, sales tax exemptions, and tax credits for businesses. If the Biomass Utilization Subcommittee can think of any new legislative approaches, they can work with the Wildfires Matter Committee this summer for the next legislative session. 
March 24-25: Before the Fire Summit
RMRI Partner Club 20 hosts the "Before the Fire: Protecting the WaterTowers of the West watershed" summit in Grand Junction, Colorado. For more, visit:


April 13, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: RMRI Communications Subcommittee
RMRI invites you to the next RMRI Communications Meeting via Zoom April 13, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Request to join the meeting at Past meeting summaries and more at

April 19, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: RMRI Biomass Utilization Subcommittee
RMRI invites you to the next RMRI Biomass Meeting via Zoom April 19, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Request to join the meeting at Past meeting summaries and more at


April 20, 10-11 a.m.: Effective Communication about Wildfire Management: Observations from 20 years of fire social science research
Sarah McCaffrey—who presented at the Dec. 1 RMRI meeting—will discuss insights from two decades of fire social science research about a range of topics to consider in improving wildfire communication, including issues with conflation of language (prevention is not mitigation), when more rather than less complex explanations may be merited, and the need to account for how fire fits in everyday lives. Join…  
Colorado legislation tracking courtesy of the Colorado State Forest Service.


Concerning wildfire mitigation assistance for landowners.

  • Brief Summary: This bill establishes the Wildfire Mitigation Resources and Best Practices grant program within the CSFS. Grants must be awarded to applicants proposing to conduct outreach among landowners in high wildfire hazard areas and the forest service must consider the potential impact of the applicants' proposed outreach when awarding grants. There would be $300,000.00 available per year, for grants of around $10,000.00. CSFS gets .6 FTE to administer the grant program.

  • LAST ACTION: 03/7/2022 | House Committee on Finance Refer Amended to Appropriations


Concerning the establishment of a state grant program that provides funding to local governments that dedicate resources for wildfire mitigation purposes.

  • Brief Summary: The bill establishes the Wildfire Mitigation Incentives for Local Government grant program in the CSFS. The grant program is established to provide state funding assistance in the form of grant awards to local governments to match revenue raised by such governments from a dedicated revenue source that is intended to be used for forest management or wildfire mitigation efforts at the local level.

  • LAST ACTION: 02/17/2022 | House Committee on Energy & Environment Refer Amended to Appropriations


Concerning healthy forests, and, in connection therewith, creating the wildfire mitigation and recovery grant program.

  • Brief Summary: This would be a supplemental program under FRWRM, focusing on awarding grantees funds that to the extent practicable, shall ensure that biomass that is removed from forests is recycled or disposed of in a manner that reduces the amount of carbon that enters the atmosphere. This is a $1m grant program, with CSFS getting 5% in administration costs.

  • LAST ACTION: 02/17/2022 | House Committee on Energy & Environment Refer Amended to Appropriations


  • Brief Summary: The bill requires that a fire department (defined to include a fire protection district as well as a county or municipality) be notified prior to conducting a controlled burn on private property and prohibits a person from conducting a controlled burn under certain conditions. The bill also sets forth civil and criminal penalties for a person who does not provide notice prior to conducting a controlled burn or otherwise violates the bill's requirements. It also has requirements for when a controlled burn may occur.

  • LAST ACTION: 01/21/2022 | Introduced In House - Assigned to Energy & Environment


  • Brief Summary: The bill creates the timber industry workforce development program (internship program) in the CSFS to provide incentives to timber businesses to hire interns through partial reimbursement of the costs to such businesses of hiring interns.

  • LAST ACTION: 02/4/2022 | Introduced In House - Assigned to Energy & Environment



  • Brief Summary: The bill allows fire departments, including fire protection districts and volunteer fire departments, to be compensated from state funding sources for wildland fire suppression activities conducted in the fire department's jurisdiction. The bill amends the existing local firefighter safety and disease prevention fund grant program (program) within the DFPC to allow grants to be spent to provide access to mental health services for seasonal and volunteer firefights involved in wildland fire suppression in addition to purchasing equipment and providing training.

  • LAST ACTION: 02/22/2022 | Senate Committee on Local Government Refer Amended to Appropriations


  • Brief Summary: The bill requires CSFS to convene a working group to assess how to expand outreach measures associated with Wildfire Awareness Month, and provides an appropriation (+/- $800,000) for the expanded campaign. The campaign will be for years 2023 and 2024. This includes staffing for the CSFS.

  • LAST ACTION: 02/1/2022 | Senate Committee on Local Government Refer Amended to Appropriations


  • Brief Summary: The bill creates a new state income tax credit (new credit) for certain taxpayers who were denied state income tax credits for conservation easements donated between 2000 and 2013 (original credit) if the federal internal revenue service allowed a federal income tax deduction for the same donation.

  • LAST ACTION: 02/3/2022 | Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Finance


  • Brief Summary: This bill makes changes to HB19-1261, Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution

  • LAST ACTION: 02/16/2022 | Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Transportation & Energy
If you would like your work highlighted in this monthly email update, submit to RMRI communication manager, Nathan Van Schaik, at Or, to discuss any communications issues or concerns, contact Nathan via email or at (720) 584-6571.
Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative