Washington, D.C. — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and Colorado Representative Joe Neguse announced that the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service will receive a significant portion of the $65 million allocated from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for nationwide investments in water quality, roads, trails, and fish habitats. Projects will be part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service’s new Collaborative Aquatic Landscape Restoration Program and the existing Legacy Roads and Trails Program.
"The future of Colorado relies on keeping our watersheds, forests, and public lands healthy," said Bennet. "These projects – funded by the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – will help grow our outdoor recreation economy and protect the Colorado we call home for the next generation.”
“Time and time again we are seeing the historic impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on Colorado‘s rural and mountain communities. This announcement is truly significant for our state, addressing the critical needs of our forests and public lands and helping to support our mountain towns. From bolstering wildfire mitigation and prevention to watershed protection. I am thrilled to see these resources directed to Colorado’s national forests,” said Neguse.
Colorado landscapes receiving funding include the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, Cimmaron and Comanche National Grassland, Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests, Pike and San Isabel National Forests, San Juan National Forest, White River National Forest, Black Hills National Forest, Bighorn National Forest, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, and the Shoshone National Forest. Please find additional information, including project specifics, here.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed with key Bennet-led initiatives to address clean water, roads, and trails improvement, including:
$5.5 billion for the Forest Service to improve wildland fire management and repair infrastructure across the national forests and grasslands.
$300 million over five years for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) to address an estimated backlog of $200 million. Bennet has continued to push for increased EWP funding to help Colorado communities recover from wildfires.
The Bennet-Hoeven amendment to formally authorize the United States Department of Agriculture’s Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership Initiative.
Robust funding for Western water infrastructure. Bennet joined his colleagues in calling on Senate leadership to prioritize funding for natural infrastructure restoration, resilience, and reclamation, including major investments in water infrastructure. Bennet and his colleagues also urged the Biden Administration to include western water priorities in their infrastructure proposal.
- Robust funding for water infrastructure for Tribal communities, consistent with Bennet’s Tribal Access to Clean Water Act with U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).