County, City establish Wildfire & Watershed Protection Fund
La Plata County has joined with the City of Durango and the Durango Fire Protection District on an intergovernmental agreement to undertake aggressive and landscape scale efforts to mitigate wildfire in the county. The Board of County Commissioners approved the IGA at its regular business meeting Nov. 23. Durango City Council and Durango Fire Protection District approved the IGA at City Council’s regular meeting Nov. 16.
Among the goals of the IGA are the following:
- Perform wildfire mitigation on private and public properties for which the county often bears financial responsibility for firefighting and watershed protection
- Create capacity for mitigation and protection efforts (i.e. grant funding, combined financial contributions, etc.)
- Create a program that will have long-term and meaningful impact with a county-wide application
- Expand upon efforts currently underway on federal lands
- Expand upon efforts and expertise of existing wildfire mitigation/watershed protection entities
- Create economic opportunity for local businesses
The IGA requires each of the three entities to appoint two members to an advisory committee, which will then collectively select a seventh member to fill the committee. It also requires the county’s hiring of a Wildfire & Watershed Protection Fund Coordinator and grants specialist at a cost of $63,156.32 each to the city and county.