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Government Funds Helping Black Forest Mitigation Work

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For the first time since it was settled more than a century ago, community fire prevention projects are starting in Black Forest, with the help of state and federal fire mitigation grants.

Cutting down trees and cleaning up dead pine needles are nothing new to many residents of Black Forest, but after the 2013 Black Forest fire ravaged the El Paso County neighborhood, homeowners began joining together to create fire mitigation plans that stretch for acres. Black Forest Together, the nonprofit shepherding wildfire recovery in the area, received two state grants in the fall that will help neighbors pay for 125 acres of projects as long as groups of at least five adjacent neighbors join the effort.

But while Black Forest Together can marshal state and federal grants to help with fire prevention, no government funds are available to help with the neighborhood’s other big problem – acres and acres of burned trees, said Scott MacDonald, the nonprofit’s forest recovery manager.

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