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Resources

Forestry Legislation by Year

BILL/RESOLUTION #TITLESUMMARY
HB19-1006Wildfire Mitigation Wildland-urban InterfaceThe bill makes a $1 million appropriation to increase the amount of funding going into the CSFS Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) grant program for the 2019-2020 state fiscal year.
HB19-1047Metropolitan District Fire Protection Sales TaxThe bill allows metropolitan districts to levy a sales tax for providing fire protection in the areas of the district in which the tax is levied.
HB19-1188Greenhouse Gas Pollution Impact in Fiscal NotesBeginning in 2020, the bill requires fiscal notes on legislative measures to include an assessment of whether the measure is likely to directly cause a net increase or decrease in greenhouse gas pollution in the 10-year period following its enactment.

The assessment must consider new sources of emissions, increases or decreases in existing sources of emissions, and any impact on sequestration of emissions. The fiscal note is not required to estimate the magnitude of the impact.

The Director of Research of the Legislative Council Staff is required to develop policies and procedures for completing the assessment.
HB19-1264Conservation Easement Tax Credit ModificationsThe statutes establishing the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission and the program to certify conservation easement holders in the Division of Conservation were set to repeal on July 1, 2019. The bill extends the repeal dates for each to July 1, 2026.

In addition, the bill:

  • Eliminates requirements for board of real estate appraisers;
  • Makes changes to the Income tax credit for the donation of a conservation easement;
  • Identifies an acceptable alternative valuation method;
  • Modifies provisions regarding a conservation easement working group;
  • Requires the owner of property who is getting a conservation easement to execute disclosure form;
  • Makes an appropriation to Colorado State University to facilitate public access to the Colorado ownership, management, and protection (COMaP) service.

SB19-016Severance Tax Operational Fund Distribution MethodologyThe bill changes the distribution of the money in the severance tax operational fund as follows:

The bill changes the distribution of the money in the severance tax operational fund as follows:

  • Separates the reserve into the core reserve and the grant program reserve, while maintaining the overall purpose of each reserve;
  • Increases the maximum grant program reserve to 100% of the maximum transfers to the natural resources and energy grant programs required by law, which currently is equal to $36,378,072;
  • Requires the state treasurer to make the transfers to the natural resources and energy grant programs on August 15 after a fiscal year and to base the transfers on actual revenue as opposed to estimated revenue. Money from the grant program reserve may be used for these transfers; and
  • If all of the appropriations and transfers from have been made and both reserves are full, then the state treasurer is required to transfer any money remaining in the operational fund to the severance tax perpetual base fund.

SB19-020Wildland Fire Airspace Patrol SystemThe bill requires the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting, subject to available appropriations, to study and, if feasible, implement a system to patrol the airspace above a wildland fire.
SB19-040Establish Colorado Fire CommissionThe bill creates within the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, the Colorado Fire Commission (commission).

The commission's purpose is to enhance public safety in Colorado through an integrated statewide process focused on the fire service's capacity to conduct fire management and use, preparedness, prevention, and response activities to safeguard lives, property, and natural resources, and increase the resiliency of local and regional communities.
BILL/RESOLUTIONTITLESUMMARY
HB18-1246Modernization of the Nursery ActThe bill updates the 'Colorado Nursery Act', last amended in 2009, to protect nursery stock by:

  • Updating definitions, including amending the definition of 'nursery stock' and adding a definition of 'noxious weed';
  • Removing an exemption from inspections for nurseries that only sell nursery stock grown in Colorado and not exported outside of Colorado;
  • Authorizing the commissioner of agriculture to promulgate rules to add additional information to the nursery stock labeling requirements;
  • Prohibiting a person from selling, offering for sale, or distributing noxious weeds or nursery stock that is infested with noxious weeds; and
  • Raising the $100 cap on the nursery stock business registration fee to a $300 cap
HB18-1291Sunset Conservation Easement Oversight Commission

  • The bill implements the recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies in its sunset review of the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission by extending the repeal date of the commission for 7 years until 2025. (Recommendation 2). The bill modifies the composition of the commission.
  • The bill creates the Division of Conservation as a type 2 entity in the Department of Regulatory Agencies and moves the existing Conservation Easement Oversight Commission, the program to certify conservation easement holders, and the program to certify conservation easement tax credit certificates to the new division.
HB18-1314Drone Interference with Public Safety Operations

  • The bill states that, as used in the existing criminal offense of obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical service provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer, the term 'obstacle' includes an unmanned aircraft system.
  • The bill adds language stating that the offense does not apply to an unmanned aircraft system operator who complies with certain operational requirements

HB18-1338Reduced Revenue Severance Tax Operational Fund Transfers**The following is a summary of HB18-1338 that includes ONLY sections of the bill pertaining specifically to the transfer of funding to the Colorado State Forest Service**

  • The bill requires the state treasurer to transfer the following amounts to the CSFS on July 1, 2018, from the general fund to pay for tier 2 programs for the next fiscal year:
    - $954,545 to the forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation grant program cash fund;
    - $1,186,363 to the healthy forests and vibrant communities fund;
  • Prohibits the state treasurer from making any transfers from the operational fund to benefit the tier 2 programs for the next fiscal year, unless severance tax receipts are deposited in the operational fund during the fiscal year and there is sufficient money in the operational fund reserve so that no transfer will be made to the fund from the general fund on July 1, 2019.
SB18-039Continue the Wildfire Matters Review CommitteeThe wildfire matters review committee (WMRC) is currently scheduled to repeal on July 1, 2018.
  • The bill defers the repeal date to September 1, 2025.
  • The bill also eliminates obsolete provisions relating to the WMRC's consideration of codifying the wildland and prescribed fire advisory commission, an entity created by executive order. The WMRC discharged its obligation by considering this issue during the 2014 legislative session.
  • The bill also appropriates $49,125 from the general fund to the legislative department for the 2018-19 state fiscal year for its implementation.
SB18-042Concerning the Creation of the Agricultural Workforce Development Program

  • The bill requires the Commissioner of Agriculture to create, by rule, the Agricultural Workforce Development Program to provide incentives to agricultural businesses to hire interns. Qualified agricultural businesses may be reimbursed an amount not to exceed 50% of the actual cost of hiring a qualified intern.
  • The rules must include specified criteria for qualifying businesses and interns participating in the program.
  • Qualified internships must include at least 130 hours of work experience and cannot exceed 6 months in duration. The program is repealed on July 1, 2024.
  • The bill appropriates $43,157 from the general fund to the department of agriculture for use by the commissioner to implement the program.
SJM18-001Memorialize Congress to Fund Wildfire ResponseThis Resolution concerns the need for Congress to fund catastrophic wildfire response costs outside of Federal forest management agencies’ normal budgets.
BILL/RESOLUTION TITLESUMMARY
HB17-1070Study Drone Use by Public Safety AgenciesThe bill does the following:

  • Requires the center of excellence (center) within the division of fire prevention and control within the department of public safety (department), upon receiving sufficient money in the form of gifts, grants, and donations, to conduct a study concerning the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) within state and local government operations that relate to certain public-safety functions (study). At a minimum, the study must:

    -- Identify the most feasible and readily available ways to integrate UAS technology within local and state government functions relating to firefighting, search and rescue, accident reconstruction, and emergency management; and

    -- Include consideration of privacy concerns, costs, and timeliness of deployment.


  • Creates, upon receipt of sufficient money in the form of gifts, grants, and donations, a UAS pilot program (pilot program) to integrate UAS within state and local government operations that relate to certain public-safety functions. The bill requires the center to operate the pilot program.
SB17-050Consolidate Forest Risk and Health Grant ProgramsPrior to the passage of SB17-050 law authorized 2 grant programs relating to forest management: One relating to wildfire risk reduction that was administered by the department of natural resources, which is financed by a one-time transfer of $1 million from the general fund, and one relating to landscape-scale forest health that was administered by the Colorado State Forest Service, which is financed by annual transfers of $1 million from the severance tax operational fund that ended on July 1, 2016.

The bill does the following:

  • Repeals the grant program administered by the department of natural resources, and transfers it to the Colorado State Forest Service, renamed as the 'forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation grant program'.


  • Adjusts the composition of the technical advisory panel and specifies that the panel is no longer subject to sunset review.


  • Realigns the funding for the new grant program and the healthy forest and vibrant communities fund by allowing $50,000 that had been allocated to the department of public health and environment relating to the air quality impacts of prescribed fire to be used for any authorized purpose of the healthy forests and vibrant communities fund and extending funding for the consolidated grant program for 7 years.


  • Allows the Colorado State Forest Service to use the existing unencumbered balance of the forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation grant program cash fund for community watershed restoration purposes.


  • Extends the funding for 2 related forest programs for 7 years.
SB17-259General Fund Transfers Protect Natural ResourcesConcerning a transfer of money from the general fund to cash funds administered by state departments for the protection of the state's natural resources.

The bill requires the state treasurer to transfer money from the general fund as follows:

  • $2,272,727 million to the forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation grant program cash fund;


  • $4,090,909 million to the species conservation trust fund;


  • $2,452,193 million to the division of parks and outdoor recreation aquatic nuisance species fund; and


  • $1,184,171 million to the division of wildlife aquatic nuisance species fund.

SJM17-001Memorialize Congress to Fund Wildfire ResponseThis Resolution is concerning the need for Congress to fund catastrophic wildfire response costs outside of federal forest management agencies' normal budgets.

The Resolution encourages Congress to enact laws necessary to protect federal land management agencies' ability to mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfires and manage the lands within their jurisdiction by funding catastrophic wildfire response in a manner analogous to that used for natural disasters.
SJR17-002Support for Use of BiocharThis Resolution is concerning the Colorado general assembly's support for the continued research, development, and application of biochar from our forests.

The Resolution states that the Colorado general assembly, support the United States Forest Service, the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, and other research into the removal of fuel loads on the forest floor for the creation of biochar and the use of biochar as a soil amendment for reforestation, the continued creation of biochar from woody biomass found in our forests, and the use of biochar as a soil amendment within our forests and farms, towns, and cities to assist with reforestation treatments.
BILLNAMESUMMARY
HB16-1019Broadcast Burns Watershed ProtectionThis bill adds broadcast burning to the types of projects and methods for which the CSFS may award grants from the Healthy Forests and Vibrant Communities Cash Fund, and the Forest Restoration Program Cash Fund.
HB16-1040Auxiliary Emergency CommunicationThis bill creates the Auxiliary Emergency Communications Unit (unit) in the Office of Emergency Management in the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in the Colorado Department of Public Safety (DPS). The unit has the power to:

• Establish programs for the training and credentialing of auxiliary emergency or disaster communications across the State.
• Assume all the duties and responsibilities of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES), and
• Ensure that the auxiliary emergency communicators are authorized volunteers entitled to the appropriate protections and benefits of emergency volunteers when assisting local governments with the maintenance or demolition of communication facilities.

In pursuance of this authority, DPS may develop and issue photo identification cards to auxiliary communicators, conduct criminal background checks, and reimburse emergency communicators, conduct criminal background checks, and reimburse emergency communicators for necessary travel and other expenses incurred in performance of their duties. This bill also increases from 23 to 24 the number of members serving on the Public Safety Committee in the DPS. The additional member is the section emergency coordinator for the Amateur Radio Emergency Service of the Colorado section of the Amateur Relay League.
HB16-1255Manage Forests to Improve Water Supply ConditionsThis bill directs the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) to conduct demonstration pilot projects via the Good Neighbor Authority with the U.S. Forest Service to implement forest management treatments that:

• Improve forest health and resilience,
• Supply forest products to Colorado businesses, and
• Target a Colorado watershed.

This bill requires at least $200,000 of the $1 million annually allocated to the CSFS for community watershed restoration be used to implement these pilot projects. The CSFS, in conjunction with the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), is also required to conduct a study to quantify and document the relationship between the state water plan and the importance of forest management in protecting and managing Colorado’s water resources. Study results must be submitted in a report to the House and Senate natural resource committees by January 1, 2017.

This bill also creates with the CSFS the 24 member Forest Health Advisory Council to advise the State Forester on a broad range of issues, opportunities, and threats to Colorado’s forests. Council membership will be appointed by the Governor and legislative leadership and is subject to sunset review in 2021.
SB16-012Time to Reconstruct Residential ImprovementsThis bill allows residential property to maintain its property tax classification for an indefinite period of time if the county assessor determines the property owner is making a good faith effort to rebuild an improvement destroyed by a natural disaster. A residential improvement is a home or other structure that has been built on residential property. Under current law, the property can maintain its residential classification for up to four years after the improvement has been destroyed if, in the assessor’s judgement, the owner intends to repair or replace the structure.
SB16-167Severance Tax Operational Fund Reserve ReductionThis bill reduces the portion of the reserve requirement based on the Tier 1 programs by $2.98 million for the FY 2016-17 only.
SJM16-002Federal Funding for Catastrophic Wildfire ResponseThis resolution asks the Federal Government to:

• Enact laws necessary to protect federal land management agencies’ ability to mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfires, and
• Manage the lands within their jurisdiction by funding catastrophic wildfire response in a manner analogous to that used for natural disasters.
Bill NumberNameSummary
HB15-1006Invasive Phreatophyte Grant ProgramThis bill establishes a 5-year grant program in the Noxious Weed Management Fund for the management of invasive phreatophytes, which are deep-rooted plants that consume water from the water table or the layer of soil just above the water table. The Department of Agriculture administers the grant program under it authority to manage noxious weeds. To qualify for a grant, an applicant must propose a project for the management of invasive phreatophytes that utilizes best management practices. Grant amount could be as much as $5 million annually.
HB15-1008Ag Land Classification When the Land is DestroyedThis bill established that a person commits trespass if he or she is not a peace officer or other agent of a state or local government acting in his or her official capacity and he or she knowingly and intentionally uses an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to observe, record, transmit, or capture images of another person when the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

It also establishes that a person commits harassment if he or she is not a peace officer or other agent of a state or local government agency acting in his or her official capacity and, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm another person, he or she uses a UAV to track a persons’ movements in or about a public place without the person’s authorization.

The bill amends existing law concerning the retention of passive surveillance records by government agencies to contemplate the retention of records that are obtained through the use of UAV’s.
HB15-1129Colorado Disaster Prediction and Support SystemThis bill requires the Division of Fire Prevention and Control to partner with an organization, by entering into a contract to establish, support, customize, and maintain a Colorado wildland fire prediction and decision support system. The bill also requires the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to partner with an organization, by entering into a contract, to establish, support, customize, and maintain a Colorado flood prediction and decision support system.

The bill also specifies that the organization must be a nonprofit Colorado-based research organization focused on research, education, and advanced technology development for atmospheric and related earth sciences.

This bill also requires each division to assist in the coordination of users across the state to further refine the systems to best meet all Colorado users’ unique requirements. The bill allows each division to seek and accept gifts, grants, or donation to assist in the development of the Colorado flood prediction and decision support system and the Colorado wildland fire prediction and support system.
HJR15-1006Water Projects Revolving Fund Eligibility ListsThis resolution adopts additions, modifications, and deletions to the Drinking Water Project Eligibility List and to the Water Pollution Project Eligibility List.
SB15-008Promote Water Conservation in Land Use PlanningThis bill directs the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), in consultation with the Division of Planning in the Department of Local Affairs (COLA) to:

• Develop and provide free training programs, on a recurring basis, for local government water use, water demand, and land use planners regarding best management practices for water demand management and water conservation; and

• Make recommendations regarding how to better integrate water demand management and conservation planning into land use planning, including, as appropriate, legislative, regulatory, and guidance or policy recommendations.

The CWCB and the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority, in determining whether to render financial assistance to a local government water supply entity, must consider whether the entity’s planners, if it has any, have taken the training and are actively applying it in their planning decisions.
SB15-022Wildfire Risk Reduction ProgramThis bill reauthorizes the Wildfire Risk Reduction Program for another two-year period beginning July 1, 2015. Other changes include:

• References to hazardous fuels have broadened from “forest” to “wild land vegetation”;

• Methods of manipulation or removal of fuel have been specified (“mechanical, manual, and pile burning fire treatments”);

• Encourages grant applicants to utilize
SB15-046Renewable Energy Standard Adjustment for REA’s and Distributed GenerationThis bill allows these utilities to count each kilowatt-hour of electricity obtained through retail distributed generation (DG) as 3 kilowatt-hours for purposes of meeting the 2020 standard. In addition, the bill allows cooperative electric associations (CEA’s) to use purchases from community solar gardens to meet the retail DG component of the renewable energy standard.
SB15-055Return of Water from Tail DitchThis bill permits a person to use a tail ditch to return variable amounts of water to a stream. The state engineer shall not require the delivery of a minimum amount of water to the stream, except as required by a court decree.
SJR-004Request Federal Wildland Fire Suppression SupportThis resolution asks the federal government to:

• Create a separate fire suppression line item in the federal budget; and

• Purchase and deploy additional aerial firefighting equipment to assist in fighting wildfires across the country
BILL NUMBERNAMESUMMARY
HB 1003Nonresident Disaster Relief Worker Income Tax ExemptionNonresident individuals would be exempt from the state income tax if they perform disaster emergency-related work in the state on certain infrastructure that has been affected by a declared state disaster emergency or if they provide emergency service work related to the disaster emergency beginning in tax year 2015 and ending in tax year 2019.
HB 1004
Transfer Colorado Emergency Planning Commission (CEPC) Responsibilities to Entities in Department of Public Safety (DPS); Provide Disaster AssistanceThe CEPC’s current rules, the authority to promulgate new rules and duties related to the “Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986,” are transferred to Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in DPS. The duty of the CEPC to assist in training personnel to react to emergency response situations is transferred to the Emergency Planning Subcommittee, which is a new permanent body under the Division’s Homeland Security and All-Hazards Senior Advisory Committee. Also, the governor would be allowed to provide financial assistance to individuals and families without a federal disaster declaration.
HB 1008Allowing the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority (CWRPDA) to Make Loans to Private Entities for Forest Health ProjectsThe CWRPDA would be allowed to make loans to private entities for executing forest health projects.
HB 1010Corrections to Prescribed Burning Program LawsChanges would be made to the prescribed burning program language created by Senate Bill (SB) 13-083. These changes include:
• The term “certified prescribed burn manager” would change to “certified burner” and would refer to someone who successfully completes the DFPC certification program.
• Prescribed burns would still require at least one certified person to be present on site. A National Wildfire Coordinating Group-certified burn boss would satisfy this requirement, but a DFPC-certified burner would no longer qualify.
• The term “contingency actions” would be replaced by “suppression actions,” regarding those actions taken for bringing escaped prescribed fires under control.
HB 1210County and State Agency Agreement for Fire Costs on State LandsAny state agency that owns forestland, rangeland or wildland areas within a county would enter into an intergovernmental agreement with that county by Jan. 1, 2017, in order to address the harm caused by wildland fires affecting such lands and areas. Any agreement must delineate:
• the responsibility of each party for mitigation and management of wildland fires;
• wildland fire management objectives for the prevention, suppression and rehabilitation of wildfire on state land;
• the state agency with fiscal and operational authority for each management objective;
• the party responsible for paying wildfire suppression costs associated with state land; and
• procedures to carry out the agreement, such as the use of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) in the Department of Public Safety for reimbursements, as well as any remedial provisions.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State Land Board will evaluate the feasibility of entering into these intergovernmental agreements as they pertain to state trust lands. Prior to Sept. 1, 2014, DNR will report to the Wildfire Matters Review Committee regarding any conclusions reached subsequent to this evaluation, including reasonable alternatives to address wildland fire mitigation and suppression costs with counties in which state trust lands are located.
HJR 1002Special Exemption from Interstate Highway Limits for Trucks Carrying Forest ProductsThe Colorado General Assembly would ask Congress to create a special exemption from the federal maximum weight limit on interstate highways for forest products industries.
SB 008Wildfire Information and Resource CenterThe Wildfire Information and Resource Center would be created in the DFPC. The Wildfire Information and Resource Center (WIRC) would be an online repository, providing information on:
• Current wildfires in Colorado
• How to prevent and prepare for a wildfire
• Statewide fire danger and current burning restrictions
• Current prescribed burn activity, with contact information for the responsible agency
• Wildland and prescribed fire training
• Sources of funding for wildfire mitigation activities
• Other information deemed pertinent, such as the results or local, state or national research related to wildfire
SB 046Local Firefighter Safety Grant FundThe Local Firefighter Safety and Disease Prevention Fund would be created in and administered by the Division of Fire Prevention and Control. The Fund would provide needs-based grants to local governing bodies for equipment and training designed to increase firefighter safety and prevent occupation-related diseases. Funding is set at $3.25 million per year for two years.
SB 047Wildland Firefighters Death Benefit PaymentsThe DFPC would make lump-sum payments of $10,000 to the survivors of a seasonal wildland firefighter killed in the line of duty. A seasonal wildland firefighter includes temporary employees of a governing body or state agency, a volunteer member of a nongovernmental volunteer fire department or members of the Colorado Correctional Industries’ State Wildland Inmate Fire Teams (SWIFT crews).
SB 097Extend Immunity for Public Agencies from Insurance for Wildfire MitigationThe existing protections held by public agencies concerning immunity from civil liability would be extended to immunize such agencies from the acts of an insurer or insurance company, corporation, association or partnership (insurer), including any employees, contractors or agents (agents), engaged in activities intended to protect the insurable private property interests of the insurer's policyholders from damage.
SB 154Wildfire Preparedness and Emergency Response FundsFor three fiscal years, commencing with the 2014-15 fiscal year, this bill:
• Reduces by $95,000 the moneys transferred annually from the operational account of the severance tax trust fund (operational account) to the Healthy Forests and Vibrant Communities Fund and, correspondingly, transfers $95,000 annually from the operational account to the wildfire preparedness fund (WPF) administered by the Division of Fire Prevention and Control (division) in the Department of Public Safety; directs the state treasurer to make a one-time transfer of $285,000 from the healthy forests and vibrant communities fund to the WPF
• Specifies the purposes for which the division may use all of the above-referenced transferred moneys
• Exempts the Wildfire Emergency Response Fund and the WPF from the statutory limit on uncommitted cash reserves
SB 164Colorado Aerial Firefighting Fleet Aircraft AcquisitionsThis bill directs the Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) in the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to maximize its aerial firefighting and analytical capacity, within the DFPC's available budget and consistent with the recommendations of the DFPC's director. The bill amends current statute concerning the Colorado Firefighting Aerial Corps (CFAC) and other responsibilities of the DFPC by:
• enlarging potential revenue sources to the Colorado Firefighting Aerial Corps Fund (CFAC Fund);
• requiring the DFPC to make an annual report to the Wildfire Matters Review Committee (WMRC) with information and recommendations regarding wildfire threats, state firefighting resources, and the status of CFAC and other state aerial firefighting resources;
• establishing standards related to the acquisition of certain aircraft by the CFAC;
• authorizing the CFAC to operate the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting (Center of Excellence); and
• requiring, in 2014, the WMRC to consider the creation, potential scope and composition of a Colorado Wildland and Prescribed Fire Advisory Commission (advisory commission).
SB 223Payment Claims for Lower North Fork FireThis bill amends the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA) to include specific provisions governing the settlement of outstanding claims relating to the Lower North Fork Wildfire. Specifically:
• The General Assembly may settle cases for amounts exceeding limits in the CGIA based on certain orders issued by a district court, including an order granting a claimant's request for entry of judgment in the amount of an award of damages recommended by a special master.
• Payments are made from the General Fund to specified parties no later than September 1, 2014.
• Insurers are prohibited from asserting a right to additional payments made pursuant to the CGIA.
• By accepting payment under the bill, claimants release the state from any further claims relating to the Lower North Fork Wildfire.
• The Attorney General is encouraged to refrain from appealing a court order regarding judgment in certain outstanding damage claims from the Lower North Fork Wildfire.

The bill identifies 20 parties with outstanding claims from the Lower North Fork Wildfire and the amount to be paid each claimant, with a total of $17,636,554 in outstanding claims authorized for settlement under the bill.
BILL NUMBERNAMESUMMARY
HB 1012Extend Wildfire Mitigation Financial IncentiveThis 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 1225Homeowners Insurance Reform ActThis 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 1009Protect Water Right Ownership RightsThe 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 082Creating a Permanent Interim Committee of the General Assembly on Wildfire MattersThis 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 083Creating a Prescribed Burn Program under the Division of Fire Prevention and ControlThis 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 212Increasing Finance Options for Colorado New Energy Improvement DistrictsThis 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 252Encouraging the Deployment of Methane Capture TechnologiesThe 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 269Wildfire Risk Reduction GrantThis 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 273Renewable Energy Forest Biomass IncentivesThis 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 286Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit Carryover YearsUnder 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.
BILL NUMBERNAMESUMMARY
HB 1032Continue Forest Restoration ProgramThe bill continues the Forest Restoration Program and its associated funding from severance taxes for 5 years and specifies that the program is no longer a pilot program. The bill also extends for 5 years annual transfers of $1.45 million from the operational account of the severance tax trust fund to the healthy forests and vibrant communities fund, and $50,000 to the wildland-urban interface training fund.
HB 1045Tax Exemption From Beetle Killed TreesWood wholesalers must certify on a Department of Revenue form that a product is lawfully harvested in Colorado from a salvaged tree killed or infested by spruce beetles. The sales tax exemption for these timber products is in effect from July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2020. The bill also extends until July 1, 2020, the sales and use tax exemption for the sale, storage and use of wood from salvaged trees killed or infested in Colorado by mountain pine beetles.
HB 1283Department of Public Safety, Renaming, Reorganizing Certain EntitiesThis bill consolidates homeland security functions of Colorado into the Department of Public Safety (DPS); it also transfers wildfire command and control responsibilities from the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) to the DPS.
HB 1285Intergovernmental Cooperative Wildland Fire MitigationThis bill modifies statutory requirements regarding intergovernmental cooperation for wildland fire mitigation where a municipality owns land inside a county for utility purposes.
HB 1352State Commission to Address the Lower North Fork WildfireThis bill creates a commission to study the causes of the Lower North Fork Wildfire and to develop recommendations for preventing similar events from happening again. The commission will consist of five people: Two from the House, two from the Senate and the executive director from the Department of Public Safety. Their report is due by year's end.
HB 1361Concerning Claims Arising under "the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act"This bill eliminates the state's immunity from damages sustained by citizens due to prescribed fire. It also lifts the $600,000 per event/$150,000 per person cap, and specifies how citizens who sustained damages can receive additional compensation beyond specified limits.
SR 003Management for Healthy Forest Ecosystems and the Use of Colorado Forest BiomassThis bill requests the Colorado State Forest Service, the Colorado Economic Development Commission, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Governor's Energy Office to work towards promoting and/or developing opportunities for sustainable forest management that can support a forest energy industry.