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i_wmrc_2017a_2017-09-08t09:34:10z0 Hearing Summary

Date: 09/08/2017

Location: SCR 357

Final

Benefits from and Barriers to Expand Applications



WILDFIRE MATTERS REVIEW COMMITTEE


Votes: View--> Action Taken:
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09:34 AM -- Benefits from and Barriers to Expand Applications



Rob Addington, representing The Nature Conservancy, discussed forest health and the increase of severe wildfires. He discussed the importance of forest management and fuel reduction, including mechanical treatments. Mechanical treatments include the physical removal of forest products and the use of prescribed fire to reduce fuel loads. Mr. Addington spoke on the use of prescribed fires as a more cost effective approach.



Mr. Addington answered a question regarding air quality control permits as a barrier to prescribed fires. He also answered questions regarding air quality issues related to smoke produced during a wildfire.



09:44 AM



Mr. Addington continued to answer questions from the committee. He also discussed the the goals of mitigation and forest treatment to reduce the risks of wildfire statewide. Mr. Addington said that 1.5 million acres have been identified as high risk for wildfires. Current forest mitigation work in Colorado is 330,000 acres.



09:52 AM --
Jeffrey Cannon, the Forest Restoration Institute, spoke on the restoration goals and the partnerships between state and local agencies for mitigation treatment programs. He also discussed erosion, water, and ground contamination. Mr. Cannon presented a modeling program for strategic plans in forest treatment.



10:03 AM --
Carol Ekarius, representing the Coalition of the Upper South Platte, presented on past wildfire and the flood events. She discussed pre-fire and post-fire mitigation work to maintain forest and water health. Ms. Ekarius spoke on the challenges regarding air quality control. She discussed the partnership with private land owners.



Ms. Ekarius answered questions from the committee regarding a statewide strategic plan.



Mr. Addington discussed the tools provided by the Colorado State Forest Service to establish goals and priorities for mitigation work. He also spoke on partnerships with local authorities.



Ms. Ekarius spoke on the need to change mitigation efforts by changing wildfire response. She also discussed the funding for mitigation efforts.








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