From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
The U.S. House appropriations committee Monday included $48.2 million in funds to help restore watersheds devastated by wildfires. “As Colorado continues to recover from last year’s devastating wildfires, these funds will help rebuild damaged areas and protect current watershed areas from future disasters,” said Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, who offered an amendment to the disaster relief bill, HR152, to include the funds.
The Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs and High Park Fire near Fort Collins have raised the danger of floods and mudslides in drainage areas that could affect municipal water supplies. Waldo Canyon flows degrade the quality of water in Fountain Creek, which runs through Pueblo to the Arkansas River.
The federal appropriation would be spread over 10 states where damage from fires occurred.
Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Democrats, applauded the action. “The House’s decision to finally provide this assistance to Colorado and other states that suffered devastating natural disasters last year is a welcome sign,” Bennet said. “Our communities need these resources to safeguard their drinking water and rebuild in the wake of last year’s terrible wildfire season.”