The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado has launched an initiative aimed at helping to restore the watersheds of the Poudre and Big Thompson rivers damaged by this year’s devastating wildfires.
The goal for the NoCoFires Fund is to raise $1 million for long-term mitigation efforts. The Bohemian Foundation has pledged to match the first $250,000 in pledges made to the fund.
The Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires together burned more than 400,000 acres, impacting the Poudre and Big Thompson watersheds and communities downstream.
Preliminary estimates show mitigation in the Poudre River watershed alone will cost around $50 million, according to the Community Foundation.
Larimer County wildfires:How to help people impacted by the Cameron Peak Fire, East Troublesome Fire
Large, hot forest fires destroy the undergrowth and change how water moves across the soil. Rain and snowmelt push ash and other debris into streams and rivers, affecting water quality and downstream ecosystems.
Post-fire watershed mitigation typically includes planting burned areas with native groundcover and trees as well as stabilizing streambeds.
“The investment we can make together in NoCo Fires Fund will have positive impacts for decades,” said Bohemian Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Zimlich in a press release.
“This Community Foundation fund supports erosion control efforts that mitigate further degradation, as well as long-term restoration of vegetation and water quality,” she said. “With this matching grant, we are standing with many generous Coloradans and the Community Foundation to help our region begin to heal.”
For details about to contribute, see nocofoundation.org/fires/.
Kevin Duggan is a senior columnist and reporter. Contact him at email@example.com.