Polis Administration Announces Colorado Communities Receive Millions in Funding for Forest Restoration and Wildfire Mitigation Efforts

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) grant program, administered by the Colorado State Forest Service

DENVER – Coloradans who live in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) have had to adjust to a new normal of living with a year-round threat of wildfire. The Polis administration understands that preparation is key to reducing wildfire risk, and the State of Colorado provides funding to assist communities and groups across the state to reduce the risk of wildfire and promote forest health. 

Today, Governor Jared Polis announced awards for the 2022-2023 FRWRM grant cycle. In total, the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) will award $15 million to 69 applicants from 23 counties across Colorado. 

“With Colorado facing a year-round wildfire season, we must continue to support healthy  forest restoration and fire mitigation strategies statewide so that more communities can reduce fire risk. This increased funding in the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation grant program will now be able to reach more areas of the our to promote steps property owners and communities can take to protect infrastructure and help limit future wildfire threats,” said Governor Polis.

The FRWRM grant program has a matching requirement, either through cash or in-kind contributions. Applicants in areas with fewer economic resources must match 25 percent of the project total, and other applicants must match 50 percent of the total project cost, amounting to nearly $18 million in match. With these matching funds included, communities and groups across Colorado will invest nearly $33 million in efforts dedicated to forest restoration and wildfire mitigation. The projects awarded in this funding cycle will treat 9,890 acres in forests and communities across Colorado.

The funding for this round of FRWRM awards will help Coloradans undertake the following activities:

  • Build community capacity to address wildfire

  • Reduce the risk of wildfire to people, property and infrastructure

  • Promote forest health and restoration

  • Encourage the use of wood from forest health and fuels reduction projects

“The General Assembly, by nearly doubling the amount of funds available for this program, has shown that improving forest health and reducing the impacts of wildfire to Coloradans is a top priority,” said Matt McCombs, state forester and director of the Colorado State Forest Service. “Increased, sustained investments in the FRWRM program empower individual landowners and communities all over the state to do their part in reducing fire risk, which when combined, helps move all of Colorado forward.”

"I greatly appreciate the leadership of the Governor and the Colorado State Forest Service for the unprecedented investment to protect Colorado's communities, forests and watersheds from wildfire," said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Colorado is taking meaningful action to mitigate wildfire risk and improve forest health through robust commitments focused on an all-lands shared stewardship approach needed to sustain our state's natural resources and communities.”

Applicants in the following counties received FRWRM funds during this funding cycle: 

Alamosa, Boulder, Chaffee, Conejos, Custer, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Gilpin, Huerfano, Jefferson, La Plata, Lake, Larimer, Las Animas, Mesa, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, San Miguel, Summit and Teller counties in Colorado. 

Of the 69 projects receiving funding, 14 are located in areas with fewer economic resources. For a complete list of awardees, visit csfs.colostate.edu/funding-assistance.

The CSFS will announce the next round of funding assistance through the FRWRM grant program in fall 2023. For information about the program, visit csfs.colostate.edu/funding-assistance.