‘Forest to Faucet’ partnership may serve as a funding model for watershed restoration

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Here’s an interview with Harris Sherman from Catharine Tsai writing for the Associated Press via The Denver Post. From the article:

The Forest Service in past years has persuaded Vail Resorts Inc. and other companies, along with Denver Water and other utilities, to commit dollars and employees to restore watersheds that provide much of Colorado’s drinking water. “As state governments and the national government have budgetary problems, we have to be much more focused on how we spend our money,” said U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Harris Sherman. “We have to reach out and develop new partnerships and foster collaboration.”[…]

The agency has reached out to the recreation industry and private companies to contribute. Vail Resorts Inc. and MillerCoors have had employees work on restoration projects. More than 20 ski areas have asked customers to pay a lift-ticket surcharge that benefits the National Forest Foundation, the congressionally created nonprofit partner of the Forest Service. In an era of tight budgets, Sherman said, the Forest Service also is talking with utilities and insurance companies, which have an interest in preventing devastating wildfires that could damage power lines or homes.

Sherman’s comments came the same day the Forest Service launched interactive “Forests to Faucets” maps [ed. Microsoft only technology] that show important water resources nationwide, how they overlap with forests, and threats to those resources from development, fire, disease and pests like bark beetles. The idea is to provide data for cities to prioritize spending on water resources.

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