NoCoFires fund raises $750,000
The 2020 wildfire season was the worst in Colorado History. Between August and December, over 400,000 acres burned and negatively impacted our region’s headwaters. This year, flooding and erosion will significantly damage the quality, reliability, and infrastructure of the Northern Front Range’s water supply. The Community Foundation launched the NoCoFires Fund to help get our vital rivers and streams back to sustaining wildlife, agriculture, and supplying award-winning drinking water for 1 million people.
Now it’s time to focus on mitigation (do you remember the Poudre River running black from ash after 2012’s High Park Fire?), address the critical needs, and begin long-term recovery work with a coalition of partners.
The cities of Greeley and Fort Collins, Northern Water, Larimer County, local water districts, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Coalition for the Poudre River watershed, and post-fire experts have been coordinating recovery efforts. They share that sedimentation will fill in and decrease the volume of water reservoirs can store, and in a worse-case scenario, may even render these inoperable.
The time to act is now, while mitigation needs are at their most critical moment and before government dollars arrive, which underscores why NoCoFires fund is so important. Mitigation projects have been identified for a minimum of 6,000 to 10,000 acres at a cost of $20 to $35 million!
“The devastation to our watershed is difficult to comprehend and for most of us the scale can only start to be understood by looking at the anticipated restoration costs in the tens of millions,” shares Ella Fahrlander, Foundation chief engagement officer. “Our goal is to leverage philanthropic resources to maximize dollars available to support this effort.”
To date, the NoCoFires fund has raised approximately $750k, including major donations from the Noel Barrett Shuler Foundation, New Belgium Brewing, and a $250k matching donation from the Bohemian Foundation.
Cameron Peak Fire by the numbers; summary and current needs
Courtesy City of Greeley
Thank you for your support.