Colorado forest bill passes House |

Colorado forest bill passes House

DENVER ” A bill sponsored by state Rep. Christine Scanlan that extends and expands protections against devastating forest fires was passed in the Colorado House Tuesday.

The vote was 59-1.

House Bill 1199, dubbed the Colorado Healthy Forests and Vibrant Communities Act, aims to protect Colorado’s forests, assisting local communities, and stimulating economic activity.

The legislation would help mountain and Front Range communities keep forest healthy, protect watersheds, protect water and power infrastructure and encourage entrepreneurs to use beetle-killed wood.

“This legislation will dramatically increase the state’s resources for combating wildfires by enhancing current prevention efforts,” Scanlan said. “We need creative, market-oriented solutions to overcome the threat of devastating wildfires that jeopardize the region’s infrastructure, wildlife, local communities and economies. This legislation helps.”

The legislation directs approximately $3 million in 2009-’10 and $75,000 in 2010-’11 to protecting Colorado’s forests. The bill will be up for a final vote this week.

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