Grant program targets fuel reduction around neighborhoods and in open space areas
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Local officials last week awarded $247,000 for local projects under the hazardous fuels reduction grant program, including $26,500 to treat 19 acres in the Spruce Valley area at a cost of about $2,700 per acre.
The grant applications were reviewed by the local wildfire council for suitability, then recommended to the county commissioners for approval. Generally, the county grants are matching funds, covering half the total project cost.
The wildfire council recommended 15 of 16 projects for approval, turning down only a $5,000 request from the Tenderfoot Track Club, the organization running the motorized recreational area between the Dillon Cemetery and the county landfill.
Though most of the grants during the past few years have been to neighborhood groups and homeowner associations the wildfire council this year approved an $8,750 grant for an individual request for the five-acre 561 GK forest and fuel reduction project, which had the highest per-acre cost of any proposed projects, at $3,500 per acre. In a memo to the county commissioners, the wildfire council said it recommended approval because the project has demonstration value.
The wildfire council also recommended approval of $50,000 to match a state grant for logging on 101 acres of open space in the Golden Horseshoe owned jointly by Breckenridge and Summit County. Another $5,000 was awarded for continuing public outreach and education.
Other than the matching grant for the open space project, the biggest single grant ($38,585) went to a 22.6-acre project at Summit Estates with a $3,415 per-acre cost. The Ptarmigan Mountain homeowners association was awarded $15,000 for a 30-acre project at a cost of $1,000 per acre. The Miner’s View fuel reduction project was awarded $17,000 for a 33-acre project, and the Shock Hill HOA won $8,000 for a 13-acre project.
More information, including detailed maps, is online at the county’s wildfire mitigation website.