Many Colorado residents have suffered from a number of natural disasters in recent years. Since 2012, Colorado has experienced six major wildfires that burned over 250,000 acres, and a major flood throughout the South Platte basin.
“While the human and infrastructure costs of these disasters have been considerable, one of the longer-term impacts is the movement of noxious weeds which exact additional costs on agriculture and the natural landscape,” said CDA’s State Weed Coordinator, Steve Ryder. “Noxious weeds are early invaders to disturbed ground caused by fires and floods, and many of these plants find fire a desirable occurrence as it encourages seed germination. All in all, the economic and environmental threat from noxious weeds invading new territory is significant.”
Earlier this spring, the Colorado General Assembly provided a second year of funding to assist those impacted by natural disasters in searching for, mapping and treating new noxious weed populations that are the result of fires, floods or other natural disasters. These funds, $100,000 in the current fiscal year, can be accessed in the form of grants through the state’s Noxious Weed Management Fund.
The primary objective of this grant program is to provide additional financial resources to counties, communities, weed control districts, or other entities engaged in addressing the occurrence, movement and spread of noxious weeds as a direct result of surface disturbance caused by wildfire, flood or other events. The goal is to assist those impacted by these events more quickly than through the annual Weed Fund grant process. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2016.
Eligible entities include counties, municipalities, towns, weed districts, conservation districts, HOAs and nonprofit organizations. Applicants need to discuss their project ideas with a member of the Noxious Weed program staff prior to submittal. Applications may be submitted at this time. The full request for proposals, instructions and forms can be found on the Department’s website at http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/ag_Conservation/CBON/1251618808868.