BILL SUMMARY for SB16-003
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
|Refer Senate Bill 16-003 to the Committee on Appro
01:34 PM -- SB16-003
Senator Roberts and Senator Jones, co-prime sponsors, presented Senate Bill 16-003, concerning the increased authority to use broadcast burning as an optional tool to reduce wildfire risk and providing additional funding for wildfire risk reduction efforts. Senator Roberts distributed two handouts to the committee (Attachments A and B) and explained that the bill was approved by the Wildfire Matters Review Committee.
01:37 PM -- Ms. Paige Lewis, representing the Nature Conservancy, testified in support of the bill. She stated that Colorado should be prepared for wildfires, which includes proactively reducing the risk of wildfires.
01:41 PM -- Mr. Gerald Gibbens, representing the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Gibbens provided information about his water district and discussed the reasons to support wildfire mitigation efforts and the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program.
01:48 PM -- Mr. Don Kennedy, representing Denver Water, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Kennedy discussed how forest health relates to water quality and availability and he described specific work related to forest health.
01:55 PM -- Ms. Nancy Zorensky, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Zorensky provided the committee with pictures showing the effects of wildfires in treated and untreated areas (Attachments C and D). She explained her experience with fires near her home and the reasons that she supports funding mitigation efforts, including professional logging.
02:03 PM -- Mr. Aaron Kimple, representing the Mountain Studies Institute and the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Kimple discussed water sources in Archuleta County, and the benefits in that area realized from grant funding.
02:07 PM -- Ms. Pam Wilson, representing FireWise of Southwest Colorado, testified remotely in support of the bill. Ms. Wilson discussed challenges for minimizing fire risk, and funding sources that support those efforts.
02:13 PM -- Mr. Kevin Heiner, representing Southwest Conservation Corps and Conservation Legacy, testified remotely in support of the bill. Mr. Heiner expressed support for broadcast burn programs, and explained efforts that were funded by the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program.
02:17 PM -- Mr. Kent Grant, representing the Colorado State Forest Service, remotely provided neutral testimony on the bill. Mr. Kent provided information on programs that are grant funded.
02:24 PM -- Mr. Evan Buchanan, representing Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, testified remotely in support of the bill. Mr. Buchanan discussed his experience as a recipient of grant funding.
02:27 PM -- Mr. Dan Gibbs, representing Summit County, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Gibbs discussed the costs associated with wildfires and Summit County's approach to funding wildfire mitigation programs. He explained that prevention is less expensive than the costs associated with a wildfire.
02:32 PM -- Ms. Meghan Dollar, representing the Colorado Municipal League, testified in support of the bill. She spoke favorably of prior testimony and discussed issues with resources that are remedied, in part, by the bill.
02:34 PM -- Ms. Christina Randall, representing the Colorado Springs Fire Department, testified in support of the bill. She discussed wildfire mitigation in Colorado Springs, and the cost-benefit analysis of engaging in mitigation efforts.
02:36 PM -- Mr. Paul Cooke, representing the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Cooke provided the committee with information about wildfires in Colorado.
02:38 PM -- Ms. Madeleine West, representing the Department of Natural Resources, provided neutral testimony on the bill. Ms. West provided information on the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program administered by the department. She stated that the department supports including proscribed burns in the program, and discussed concerns regarding Tier 2 program funding under the grant program.
02:43 PM -- Mr. Ted Leighty, representing the Colorado Association of Realtors, testified in support of the bill and explained his reasons for doing so.
02:45 PM -- Mr. Chris Johnson, representing the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in support of the bill.
02:45 PM -- Mr. Jonathan Bruno, representing the Coalition of the Upper South Platte, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Bruno explained the costs of mitigation compared to costs associated with wildfires.
02:48 PM -- Mr. Eric Howell, representing Colorado Springs Utilities, testified in support of the bill. He discussed budgeting and costs associated with fire prevention.
02:51 PM -- Mr. Lyle Loverty, representing the Society of American Foresters, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Loverty discussed costs associated with mitigation and how agencies fund those costs, including borrowing money. He also discussed the benefits of broadcast burns and tools for mitigating fires. In response to a question, Mr. Loverty explained broadcast burns, generally.
Senator Roberts provided closing remarks on the bill.
|Refer Senate Bill 16-003 to the Committee on Appropriations. The motion passed on a vote of 5-0. The motion passed on a vote of 5-0.
Final YES: 5 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS