Forestry Legislation in Colorado

The state of Colorado values healthy, resilient forest landscapes and is willing to invest state funds in the stewardship of these resources.

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CSFS & Forestry Legislation

Colorado's grasslands, shrublands, foothills and mountains all have areas in the wildland-urban interface where human development meets wildland vegetative fuels.
Colorado's grasslands, shrublands, foothills and mountains all have areas in the wildland-urban interface where human development meets wildland vegetative fuels.

2013 Forestry Legislation Summary

Bill Number Bill Name Bill Summary
HB 1012 Extend Wildfire Mitigation Financial Incentive This bill allows landowners who complete wildfire reduction measures on their own lands in the WUI to deduct a maximum of $2,500 from their federal taxable income. The deduction is available until 2024.This bill also allows the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority to issue up to $50 million in bonds; proceeds can be used to help the CSFS, in partnership with another governmental agency, complete watershed protection and forest health projects.
HB 1225 Homeowners Insurance Reform Act This bill makes a number of changes to the regulation of homeowner's insurance primarily for single-family homes used as a primary residence by the owner. These changes are designed to protect homeowners' rights in response to experiences during the 2012 wildfire season.
HR 1009 Protect Water Right Ownership Rights The House: 1) encourages the US Forest Service to follow the current federal procedural laws to determine whether any action is needed with regard to special use permits; 2) urges the USFS to immediately reevaluate and discard its policy and actions whereby water rights are demanded in exchange for permitted uses; and 3) urges the USFS to utilize state laws and procedures to appropriate water rights if it wishes to ensure that water is available for fish and aquatic habitat protection purposes on the national forests, demanding water rights in exchange for special use permits.
SB 082 Creating a Permanent Interim Committee of the General Assembly on Wildfire Matters This bill creates a permanent interim committee, the Wildfire Matters Review Committee, to review and propose legislation related to wildfire prevention and mitigation in the state. Specifically, the committee will meet at least once during the interim, and consult with experts, including the Department of Public Safety and the Colorado State Forest Service.
SB 083 Creating a Prescribed Burn Program under the Division of Fire Prevention and Control This bill requires DFPC to implement a prescribed burning program. The bill also reassigns to the Director of the DFPC certain permitting and planning activities related to prescribed fire that were previously the responsibility of the state forester. Minimum prescribed burning standards adopted by rule must include a requirement that a state certified prescribed burn manager or a nationally qualified burn boss be present on site for the duration of any prescribed burn. Attendance of certain prescribed burns by a certified prescribed burn manager is required by December 1, 2013.
SB 212 Increasing Finance Options for Colorado New Energy Improvement Districts This bill makes several modifications to the operation of the Colorado New Energy Improvement District. It also includes "biomass" under the definition of "renewable energy improvement."
SB 252 Encouraging the Deployment of Methane Capture Technologies The bill increases from 10 to 25 percent the share of retail electricity sales that must be achieved from eligible energy resources by cooperative electric associations (CEAs) serving more than 100,000 meters, beginning in the year 2020. In addition, the allowable retail rate impact for CEAs is raised from 1 percent to 2 percent. Generation and transmission CEAs providing wholesale electricity to CEAs in Colorado are also subject to this standard and retail rate impact, beginning in 2020. Generation and transmission CEAs may take credit for energy generated from eligible resources by its Colorado members. Generation and transmission CEAs are required to report annually to the PUC on compliance with the standard. For CEAs serving fewer than 100,000 meters, the bill adds a distributed generation requirement of 1 percent of total electricity sales. The bill eliminates in-state preferences for wholesale distributed generation; the in-state requirement for the "community-based project" 1.5 kilowatt-hour multiplier; and the 1.25 kilowatt-hour multiplier for eligible energy resources beginning operation on or after January 1, 2015.
SB 269 Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant This bill creates the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program (WRRGP), including a new cash fund established to provide funding for grants, the Wildfire Risk Reduction Fund (WRRF). The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administers the WRRGP with a focus on reducing hazardous forest fuels in the wildland-urban interface. The bill requires the Colorado State Forest Service to collaborate with the DNR and provide technical assistance to grant applicants. The bill creates the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program Advisory Committee, consisting of eight members appointed by the executive director of the DNR to represent various interests involved in, or concerned with, the mitigation of catastrophic wildfires, such as federal land management, local government and the forest products industry. The bill directs the state treasurer to transfer $9,800,000 from the General Fund to the Wildfire Risk Reduction Fund on July 1, 2013.
SB 273 Renewable Energy Forest Biomass Incentives This bill provides a variety of incentives for the use of forest biomass within "red zones." The bill defines a red zone as a wildland-urban interface area of high wildfire risk in Colorado, identified by the Colorado State Forest Service's (CSFS) updated red zone map. The bill also directs the CSFS to collaborate with federal agencies to facilitate the use of forest biomass as feedstock for timber mills, and authorizes the CSFS to assist communities in high risk areas with their community wildfire protection plans.
SB 286 Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit Carryover Years Under current law, the Enterprise Zone Investment Tax Credit is an income tax credit equal to 3 percent of qualified investments located in an enterprise zone. Taxpayers may claim up to half their annual tax liability plus $5,000 in any one year, and the credit may be carried forward for 12 tax years. SB13-286 extends the carry forward period of the Enterprise Zone Investment Tax Credit by 8 years for renewable energy companies, thereby allowing companies to carry forward the credit for a total of 20 years. The bill defines a renewable energy company as an entity in the solar thermal electric, photovoltaic, landfill gas, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, recycled energy, anaerobic digestion or renewable fuels business.