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CDPHE and U.S. Forest Service Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

In 2009, theColorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) addressing management and protection of Source Water Areas on National Forest System (NFS) lands in Colorado. The Forest Service administers over 14.5 million acres of NFS lands in Colorado, and nearly 90 percent of these lands lie in watersheds that contribute to public water supplies. In addition, over 70 percent of the surface water source water areas in Colorado contain some NFS lands. The surface water flowing through these NFS lands supply drinking water to approximately 80% of the population or an estimated 4.5 million people. The purpose of the MOU is to establish a framework for CDPHE and the Forest Service to work together in a cooperative manner on issues related to Source Water Protection on NFS lands in Colorado. The MOU raises awareness on the importance of maintaining healthy forests to protect an exceptionally valuable resource…. namely public drinking water supplies.