From the Denver Business Journal (Cathy Proctor):
MillerCoors, PepsiCo and the Wells Fargo Foundation announced Tuesday that the three organizations will donate $1 million to The Nature Conservancy to help restore forests along Colorado’s Front Range.
The money will help pay for the nonprofit to spend three years designing, implementing, and measuring the progress of forest restoration projects intended to “improve water security” for the Denver metro area and also reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires.
The projects will include thinning tree stands, removing dry vegetation and conducting prescribed burns to clear out underbrush in controlled conditions, according to the announcement.
The projects are important because the mountain snowpack is the source of most of Colorado’s drinking water.
“Water is an essential ingredient in beer, so at MillerCoors we are deeply invested in water stewardship efforts,” said Kim Marotta, MillerCoors director of sustainability, in a statement.
“We rely on Rocky Mountain Water from the Front Range Forests to brew our quality beers, so we are proud to stand alongside our partners and The Nature Conservancy to preserve this vital resource for years to come,” she said…
The project is the first one that PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) has teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to do, said Meagan Smith, the director of sustainability for PepsiCo North America Beverages.
“We believe simple acts can have a big impact and this project is a great way to begin our relationship with
The Nature Conservancy and show our ongoing commitment to the communities in which we operate,” Smith said.
Decades of work putting out fires as well as prolonged drought has put more than 6 million acres of Colorado’s forests at risk for catastrophic wildfires that could damage the land and the drinking water supplies, the group said.
Along the Front Range, about 1.5 million of the 6 million forested acres are at similar risk, the group said.
“Wells Fargo is committed to being environmentally minded in all that we do. This includes finding ways to protect one of our most precious resources: water,” said Ashley Grosh, Wells Fargo’s vice president of environmental affairs.
More restoration/reclamation coverage here.