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Black Forest awarded grants for fire mitigation

On May 6, Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that $1.7 million in grant money would be awarded to Colorado counties to assist with fire mitigation. Some of the money went to El Paso County. Two grants totaling $148, 980 were awarded to Black Forest Together.The first grant to BFT was a Black Forest Community Fire Mitigation Project-Fuels grant totaling $136,480 and the second grant, called the Black Forest Community Fire Mitigation Project-Capacity, totaled $12,500.Scott MacDonald, director of Black Forest Together, explained how the grants will be used.Wildfire mitigation on a larger than single property scale (up to 125 acres) to provide ìdefensible spaceî around homes and to create a buffer from ìheavy wildfire fuelsî that could threaten a community.The purchase of a truck for hauling a chipper and a dump trailer for transporting hazardous fuels and other materials to disposal sites.MacDonald said in his email that the truck and trailer will also be used for ìgeneral use on work projects, for storage of tools and to access areas requiring a four-wheel-drive vehicle.îìThese types of mitigation projects are crucial in being able to provide better protection of structures and firefighter safety in the Wildland Urban Interface,î MacDonald wrote.BFT submitted an application for the mitigation and capacity requests to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program. The application included providing details on planned objectives, project management and proposed budget.Both grants require matching funds from the community, along with participation in the mitigation efforts. MacDonald said they are working on options to meet those requirements.Those options include the following:

  • ìHomeowner donations to pay for chipper fuel or other direct cost sharing
  • ìIn-kind matching to include chipper/equipment usage, homeowner and other volunteer efforts and potential partnering with local fire districtsî
MacDonald said Black Forest Together will manage the project in a ìstrategic partnership with the Colorado State Forest Service and the Coalition for the Upper South Platte.î He said the average cost per acre, based on fuel loading, is $1,587.Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts anniversaryHelp Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts in Black Forest celebrate its 10-year anniversary Saturday, Nov. 1. Join the Knit-in/Spin-in from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call and sign up as space is limited. Hourly drawings will be featured at the time of the event (winners must be present), along with a final drawing at 4 p.m. (you donít have to be present). Refreshments, a silent auction and 30 percent off of goods in the store (except equipment) round out the dayís events. The sale only will continue Nov. 2.A weaving class and felting class will be available during the event as well. Visit or call 719-495-7747. The address is 6520 Shoup Road.

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