COLORADO SPRINGS —The Polis administration is working to increase wildfire mitigation and protect Colorado communities. Governor Polis is working along with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources to fund forest health and wildfire mitigation work.

“Colorado has stepped up to become even more of a leader in fire response and mitigation efforts. And we know that that is more important now than ever before,” said Gov. Polis.

The Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program is a part of the Department of Natural Resources that sends funds to locally based projects.

The program announced funding towards the Workforce Development Grant and the Landscape Resilience Investment.

“We’ll be launching two new grant programs to support local governments to incentivize more mitigation work and helping share in the impact,” said Matthew McCombs, State Forester and Director of Colorado State Forest Service. “When people take ownership of the challenges in front of us, we can make huge impacts together.”

The Workforce Development Grant is a one time opportunity Colorado resident can apply for. The funds are accesible to all land owners across the state but are currently closed for the 2022 funding cycle.

 “Folks are eligible for the funds anywhere in the state of Colorado,” said Dan Gibbs, Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director. “People can come and look at the Department Natural Resources website and look on how they can apply for these funds.”

The Landscape Resilience Investment will recieve funding from COSWAP to eight projects across Colorado including one in Teller County.

“Larimer County and Teller County are two areas that are listed as really high priorities of the state of Colorado,” said Gibbs.

Colorado Youth Corps Association partnered with the Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program to help in wildfire mitigation.

“The Colorado Strategic Wildfire Action Program has been absolutely life changing for young adults around Colorado,” said Scott Segerstrom, Colorado Youth Corps Association  Executive Director.

There are multiple projects the Youth Corps work on including fire fuels mitigation and wildland fire suppression.

“Every project’s a little different. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and our adaptability, said Segerstrom. “So on some forest health projects, we might remove the shorter trees which are called ladder fuels.”

These grants will help southern Colorado and bring more resources into the community.

 “Southern Colorado is one of the most vulnerable areas throughout the entire state,” said Segerstrom. “Our goal through the COSWAP program is to bring resources to these communities that are sufficient to get the job done.”

More information on joining a local youth corp can be found online.