DENVER, CO– The House Agriculture, Livestock, & Water Committee today passed bipartisan legislation that would allow communities to join together to create special districts in order to help finance forest health projects. HB21-1008, sponsored by Representatives Jeni Arndt and Marc Catlin, passed by a vote of X-X.
“With droughts getting worse and worse each year and temperatures rising to historic levels, our fire seasons have become more dangerous and destructive,” said Rep. Jeni James Arndt, D-Fort Fort Collins. “Building back stronger means providing our communities with the tools they need to protect their property from future disasters. This bill would allow towns, counties, and municipalities to join together to finance forest health projects that can reduce the threat, intensity, and size of wildfires in our state.”
HB21-1008 allows local governments to establish special improvement districts that would, with voter or property owner approval, be allowed to levy property taxes to finance forest health projects like removing trees damages from pine beetle or replanting deforested areas. Forest health projects can reduce the intensity and size of wildfires. The bill also empowers counties, municipalities, special districts, water conservancy districts, and forest improvement districts to financially contribute to forest health projects.