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Senator Schwartz fight to protect Colorado’s forest health, alongside Governor Hickenlooper

February 12th, 2013

Filed under Home Page, In The News

Sen. Nicholson and Sen. Schwartz watch as Gov. Hickenlooper signs the Executive Orders

DENVER — Today, Governor Hickenlooper issued two Executive Orders to protect wildland-urban interface areas and protect forest health.

Sen. Jeanne Nicholson (D-Gilpin County) and Sen. Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass), who represent areas most impacted by forest health, applauded the governor’s efforts.  Both Senators are committed to protecting our forest landscapes.  Sen. Nicholson served on the Lower North Fork Fire Commission throughout the interim and is sponsoring four significant forest health bills this session, including:

  • Financial Incentives for Wildfire Mitigation (HB 1012): The bill continues income tax deductions for landowners who perform wildfire mitigation measures.
  • All Hazards Resource Mobilization (HB 1031): The bill clarifies the duties of the Office of Emergency Management in developing a statewide all-hazards resource mobilization plan.
  • Colorado Prescribed Burn Act (SB 083): The bill requires the Division of Fire Prevention and Control to implement a prescribed burning program.
  • Creation of Permanent Interim Wildfire Committee (SB 082):  The bill creates a permanent interim committee to review and propose legislation or other policy changes to wildfire prevention and mitigation.

“Coloradans need to adapt to the increasingly dry climate and mitigate the risk of forest fires.  Nobody wants to repeat what we saw last year with the Lower North Fork Fire, High Park Fire, Waldo Fire, and so many other fires.  Governor Hickenlooper’s Executive Orders will help us to prepare for, and hopefully avoid, the worst.  I am committed to doing everything I can at the legislature to protect Colorado from catastrophic wildfires,” said Sen. Jeanne Nicholson.

Sen. Schwartz is working this session to achieve greater forest health through efforts with biomass energy.

“Governor Hickenlooper’s Executive Orders set a roadmap to address the serious fire risk to our communities and watersheds while creating jobs and supporting our forest product industry. This significant step to improve forest health will help create value for dead and dying timber, protect our homes in forested areas, and improve the health of our forests,” said Sen. Gail Schwartz.

Executive Order B 2013-002 establishes the Task Force on Wildfire Insurance and Forest Health.  The task force will examine how to best protect people, property, and the general environment in wildland-urban interface areas.

Executive Order B 2013-001 establishes the Wildland Prescribed Fire Advisory Committee.  The committee will examine wildfire preparedness, responses, suppression, coordination, management, and prescribed fire, and advise the Director of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

ABOUT SEN. NICHOLSON

Sen. Nicolson serves Senate District 16, which spans Gilpin County, a small section of Southwest Denver, and parts of Boulder and Jefferson Counties from Conifer to Superior.  Sen. Nicholson is the Democratic Caucus Chair for the Senate Majority.  She is also the chair of the Local Government Committee and a member of the Health and Human Services Committee.

ABOUT SEN. SCHWARTZ

Senator Schwartz serves Senate District 5, which spans Chaffee, Delta, Eagle, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake, and Pitkin counties.  Sen. Schwartz is the Senate Majority Whip.  She is the Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee.  She also serves on the Senate Local Government, and is the vice-chair of the Capital Development Committee.