Fri Sep 11th, 2020
Tags: Colorado Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Colorado River District, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP), evin Klein, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Highway Administration, Garfield County, Grizzly Creek Fire management teams, Grizzly Creek Watershed, Hanging Lake Tunnel complex, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Office of Senator Bennet, Pine Fire management teams, Rebecca Mitchell, Shoshana Lew, the City of Glenwood Springs, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), USDA, USDA-NRCS, White River National Forest
Visits Glenwood Canyon with leaders
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) approved the first tranche of Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) funds for $5 million worth of projects in Colorado to mitigate and recover from wildfires. The funding will benefit EWP projects in Mesa, Garfield, Larimer, and Grand Counties.
The announcement comes after Bennet called on the USDA earlier this week to quickly approve EWP funding for wildfire recovery.
“We’re deeply grateful to NRCS for quickly and efficiently approving these funds to mitigate damage in Colorado communities affected by wildfires,” said Bennet. “I’ve seen a lot of wildfires and disasters in the last decade that I’ve served in the Senate, and Coloradans always pull together in times of crisis to overcome the devastation and build back even stronger than before. I know this time will be no different. Thank you to all of the local, state, and federal leaders who joined me today on the tour of Glenwood Canyon. I’m committed to continue collaborating with you all to secure additional federal resources for wildfire recovery.”
Today, Bennet also met with leaders in Glenwood Canyon for a watershed restoration tour of the Hanging Lake Tunnel complex and the Grizzly Creek Watershed. State leaders included Shoshana Lew from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Kevin Klein from Colorado Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Rebecca Mitchell from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, in addition to representatives from the White River National Forest, Colorado River District, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), USDA-NRCS, the City of Glenwood Springs, Garfield County and other local elected officials.
During the visit, Bennet and the leaders discussed the critical role that the EWP program will play to help protect watersheds, private property, infrastructure, and Glenwood Springs’ water supply.
In addition to EWP funds, each state and federal agency outlined the additional resources that may be available to assist with watershed restoration and protection of the canyon. Bennet will continue to collaborate with all of these partners.
On Wednesday, Bennet and other members of the Colorado delegation urged USDA to approve the City of Glenwood Springs’ request for additional financial assistance. Last week, Bennet and the entire Colorado congressional delegation urged President Trump to approve the request from the State of Colorado for additional resources to combat wildfires. In August, Bennet met with the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek Fire management teams where he received an update on the firefighting response and future recovery needs.