February 16, 2022

Congressman Neguse Welcomes $20 Million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding to Support Colorado State University Forest Restoration Research

Washington D.C.— Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, welcomed an announcement that Colorado State University’s Colorado Forest Restoration Institute will receive $20 million to co-lead forest resiliency efforts through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding is part of over $5 billion Congressman Neguse secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to invest in wildfire resiliency, suppression and mitigation.  

“The catastrophic wildfires that Colorado and other Western states have endured over the past few years are nothing short of a national emergency, and it is imperative that we continue developing proactive strategies to help our mountain communities protect themselves from these growing threats,” said Congressman Joe Neguse, Chair of the U.S. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. “Ingenuity and collaboration are key elements in any successful effort to mitigate and overcome these devastating fires. Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we are ensuring that Colorado State University and other Colorado labs have the needed resources to provide this crucial, innovative work to our local communities.”

The new grant, also presented to Northern Arizona University and Highlands University, will fund collaborative work between all three universities to boost research into wildfire and forest management, build a national database on wildfire effects and fuel treatment, and assist planners, first responders, and policymakers in applying that data. Thus, the project will create science-based solutions to the risks posed by wildfires and deliver new actionable and accessible knowledge to community stakeholders.

Recently, Congressman Neguse announced $720,890 in funding for Colorado’s Joint Chiefs Landscape Restoration Partnership, a program he and Senator Bennet fought to have formalized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program allows for collaborative forest management and proved instrumental in holding off the advance of the Cameron Peak wildfire in 2020. 

Background:

In the wake of historic wildfire seasons in Colorado, Congressman Joe Neguse secured the passage of several key priorities for Colorado in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including upgrades to America’s power grid to help communities prepare for climate related natural disasters, and an extension of the Secure Rural Schools Program, a proposal Rep. Neguse has been pushing since his start in Congress. Congressman Neguse has also tirelessly worked to renew the National Fire Plan, bring federal resources home to recovering communities, and advocate for increased support for wildland firefighters, wildfire prevention, and forest management. Additionally, Congressman Neguse is leading the Western Wildfire Support Act, which would allow communities in Colorado and across the Western U.S. to acquire the training, equipment, and funding they need to combat the increasing dangers posed by wild and rangeland fires.