Opinion: Congress Must Ensure Healthy Forests and Secure Watersheds

Your Water Colorado Blog

Andy 2017-0788By Andy Mueller, General Manager, Colorado River District

It’s not fire season right now – or at least it shouldn’t be – but continuing drought and seemingly constant shifts in “normal” weather patterns set the stage for record-setting, winter wildfires in California that cost the federal government billions to contain, all which highlight similar concerns for Colorado.

Ongoing drought cycles and the overgrown condition of our forests leave Colorado and the entire American West at risk of even more destructive and costly fire seasons in the days and years ahead.

The federal government is the single largest landowner in Colorado and the majority of those lands are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. In fact, federal agencies own and manage more than a 35% of the land in Colorado, and in some Western Slope counties that percentage is north of 90%.

Now consider that most of the water used in…

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