District News Articles

  2. Denver Water and U.S. Forest Service to spend $33 million on watershed restoration
    Denver Water and the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region announced their plans to equally share an investment of $33 million, over a five–year period, in restoration projects on more than 38,000 acres of National Forest lands.
    This partnership will accelerate and expand the U.S. Forest Service´s ability to restore forest health in watersheds critical for Denver Water’s water supplies and infrastructure. Forest thinning and other wildfire fuels reduction projects will take place around and upstream of Strontia Springs, Gross, Antero, Eleven Mile Canyon and Cheesman reservoirs, and in an area near the town of Winter Park. The projects will reduce the risk of wildfires upstream of Denver Water’s reservoirs and other water delivery infrastructure.
    “Thirty million Americans depend upon water from Colorado´s public and private forests. Maintaining the health of these forests is everyone´s business,” said Harris Sherman, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. “I applaud Denver Water for their long-term investment in our National Forest watersheds. By leveraging our shared resources, we are able to do more work, faster, and in the critical areas. This partnership is a model for forest managers and water providers throughout the country.”
    “There is a direct connection between healthy forests and sustainable supplies of clean water,” said Greg Austin, vice president of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners. “Denver Water has spent more than $10 million in the aftermath of the Buffalo Creek and Hayman fires. We are taking this proactive step to invest in the future, by keeping our watershed healthy rather than paying for impacts from a catastrophic crown fire in the future. Denver Water is committed to managing water supplies, developing resources and carrying out projects in an environmentally responsible way, and we’re happy this partnership has such mutual benefit.”
    Forest health restoration treatments will help protect water resources for Denver Water´s customers as well as millions more downstream beneficiaries, including homes, businesses and agriculture. Restoration also will help the forests become more resistant to future insect and disease, reduce wildfire risks and maintain habitat for fish and wildlife. More resilient forests will also be more adaptive to the impacts of a changing climate.
    Gov. Ritter applauded the creation of this partnership between Denver Water and the U.S. Forest Service. “The scale of the ongoing mountain pine beetle infestation is well beyond anything anyone of us has experienced.” Gov. Ritter said. “It is going to take unprecedented levels of collaboration to address these serious threats to our forests, our communities and our watersheds. This is an historic commitment and a vital step toward healthier forests in Colorado.”
    For more information and fact sheet visit U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region