MONEY AVAILABLE NOW FOR HOME FIRE MITIGATION
The time to start is now!
Funds are available to help Green Mountain Falls residents defray the costs of protecting their homes from wildfire. Adrian Knight of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) says interested residents should reach out now to CUSP (email@example.com).
“I want residents to know that getting work done with this grant can be as easy as meeting with me, no applications required,” Knight said. He is referring to money CUSP received from the Colorado State Forest Service to encourage homeowners to take responsibility for lowering their fire risk. The nonprofit receives grant money from various funders for work in the region and assists property owners based on the requirements of the grant.
The current grant funds will cover 40 percent of the mitigation costs with home and property owners picking up the balance. CUSP applies for and administers grants from various state and federal agencies and foundations interested in promoting the health of forests and surrounding communities.
Once residents make contact, CUSP will add their names to a list of property owners also interested in maintaining healthy trees and forests on their grounds. From that list, CUSP staffers will decide which projects are feasible based on the grant. If the property is adjacent to areas where mitigation is planned or has already taken place, the project is more likely to be feasible.
Get your neighbors on board!
Property and homeowners will greatly improve their chances of qualifying for financial help if they convince their nearby neighbors to contact CUSP as well. Funds go a lot further when contractors can be hired to work on several adjoining properties rather than single lots. This story about a Falls Avenue neighborhood project describes a great example!
“The more united we are as neighbors and a community on this front, the more likely we are to succeed in our fire mitigation efforts,” David Douglas, chair of Green Mountain Falls’ Fire Mitigation Advisory Committee said.
If CUSP decides the work is feasible, a representative will come to your property and perform an assessment, develop a scope of work, and provide a cost estimate. CUSP will schedule this upon the property owner’s request.
According to CUSP, once a project is approved, CUSP foresters will work out a mitigation plan with a homeowner that meets the Colorado State Forest Service’s minimum standards for forest health and fuel reduction. CUSP will solicit bids from contractors and hire them. Any contractor it hires must carry workers compensation insurance and be covered for other potential liabilities. CUSP will manage the contracts, oversee the contractor’s work, and handle paperwork associated with the grant.
Knight says the Coalition has funding to help pay for treatment for an additional 10 acres in Green Mountain Falls through 2023. If interest is high enough after work on those 10 acres, CUSP will try to find more grant money, he added. Right now, the money is only earmarked for Green Mountain Falls. If Cascade and Chipita Park residents are interested, CUSP may be able to help them, Knight said.
Find out more about CUSP’s mitigation work at https://cusp.ws/ecological-restoration-and-wildfire-mitigation/ .