Southwest Wildfire Impact Fund

THE NEED

Dense, unhealthy forests. Increasing drought. Dead trees from insect infestations. All these factors combine to increase the public safety threat of catastrophic wildfire in populated areas of Southwest Colorado, like Durango and La Plata County. There are ways to remove or reduce the dangerous tinderbox of these fuels through forest health treatments and reduce catastrophic wildfire risk, but the region lacks a sufficiently funded, long-term, and coordinated approach to forest restoration on all lands, private or publicly owned.

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Trees in valley

Southwest Wildfire Impact Fund

THE SOLUTION

The Southwest Wildfire Impact Fund (SWIF) offers the vision and the means to restore the forests, based on a natural landscape approach. Advancing the protection of people, watersheds, wildlife, and the environment through shared financing of these forest restoration treatments is our goal.

SWIF will function as a revolving loan fund, capitalized by bond proceeds, grants, and appropriations. Beneficiaries such as local municipalities and counties will repay loans from the SWIF, based on the value of validated wildfire risk reduction and other outcomes, with additional funding via property owner cost-share and utilization of biomass material.

The funding approach looks to current and future needs, starting in Durango and La Plata County, and leverages the area’s deserved reputation for putting innovation, commonsense, and collaboration to work to reach our common goals. The SWIF project will provide ways for private landowners at high-risk to wildfire damage and destruction to get forest restoration work on their property done quickly and with expert advice and assistance, at a reasonable and affordable cost.

More about The Solution

Trees in winter

Southwest Wildfire Impact Fund

WHO WE ARE

The initial SWIF project team is a small collaborative group, including locally based knowledge and expertise, that has come together to offer a real-time approach addressing the challenge of wildfire risk, particularly on private lands in and near communities in Southwest Colorado.  Over the past two years, the team has been working closely with many local, regional, state, and national partners, including the leadership of the  San Juan National Forest, following the shared stewardship approach, and with the Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative’s efforts in SW Colorado. The team’s goal is to provide the SWIF model to local governments and their partners to further define and implement the SWIF.

More about Who We Are

Branch up close
Wildfire Mitigation. Healthier Forests. Resilient Communities.
Southwest Wildfire Impact Fund |
679 E. 2nd Avenue, Suite 8, Durango, CO 81301
|970-387-5161