Pine Beetle task force meeting to address pending forest health bill
FRISCO The Mountain Pine Beetle Task Force breakfast meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15, will address two current legislative initiatives, one state and one federal, that provide funding needed to tackle forest health and public safety concerns in Summit County and similarly situated mountain communities.House Bill 1130, which passed out of committee in Denver last week on a 13-0 vote, will now receive consideration by the House Appropriations committee of the Colorado Assembly. The bill, introduced by Rep. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, would provide “cost-share grants to stakeholders for experimental forest restoration projects that are designed through a collaborative community process.”The legislation would authorize up to $1 million per year for each of the next five years from the operational account of the (oil and gas) severance tax fund.Also scheduled for discussion is a staff draft of a unified Colorado congressional delegation bill designed to “reduce risks to Colorado communities and water supplies caused by the danger of severe wildfires, especially in areas affected by insect infestations.”This federal legislation proposes:amendments to the Healthy Forests Restoration Act 0f 2003;measures to improve the health of Colorado’s forests, and provisions for tax benefits for electricity produced from biomass as well as compensation for certain hazardous fuel reduction projects.Anyone with an interest in learning more about these measures and how to be an informed advocate for them is urged to attend the meeting, which begins at 7:30 a.m. at Frisco’s Best Western Lake Dillon Lodge, adjacent to I-70 exit 203.
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