Colorado and Wyoming to receive additional $40.15 million in disaster relief funding
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - press
The USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office announced today that Colorado and Wyoming will receive $40.15 million in disaster relief funds this fiscal year, made possible through the Disaster Supplement of the Omnibus funding legislation. Colorado’s Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests will receive $39 million to continue post-fire rehabilitation efforts following the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires. The Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming will receive $1.15 million to repair flood-damaged areas in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
“With the help of numerous partners, an enormous amount of work has been accomplished to stabilize the areas hardest hit, and our rehabilitation work is on schedule,” said Regional Forester Frank Beum. “We have only touched upon the long-term rehabilitation efforts that need to occur, it will take years, and this funding is crucial to continuing that work,” he added.
Watersheds serving multiple Colorado communities were decimated by the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires in 2020. Front Range water providers, in partnership with the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, accomplished $15 million of emergency watershed stabilization work on National Forest System lands in 2021 with funding made possible by the water providers and state grants.
In 2022, northern Colorado water providers completed $21.2 million of slope stabilization work on National Forest System lands in collaboration with local and federal partners. The work was accomplished with disaster supplemental funding that the forests received in June. The current funding will continue stabilization efforts on an additional 50,000 acres and begin long-term rehabilitation work such as road and trail repairs, reforestation, noxious weed containment, project planning, and recreation facility repairs.
Severe flooding impacted the Shoshone National Forest in 2022, causing damage to roads, trails, campgrounds, and recreational facilities. The funding will be used to continue emergency stabilization efforts, control further erosion, restore appropriate water flows, plant native vegetation, and repair, rebuild and relocate National Forest System Roads 119 and 120, which were severely impacted by the flooding. These roads are popular access for recreational activities and the only access to the Switchback Ranch during the winter.
Copyright 2023 KGWN. All rights reserved.