2022-2023 Application Instructions – Fuels & Forest Health

Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program

Established by SB 17-050

Application Instructions

The application is in pdf format. Applicants should use Adobe Acrobat or the free Adobe Reader software to edit the application for the most reliable results. Write in complete sentences and provide as much detail as needed for reviewers to understand all aspects of proposed projects. All blocks are fill-in enabled and limited to a certain number of characters. Characters include letters, numbers, spaces and punctuation. 

Note: Additional support materials beyond the allowable support letters, maps and contract bids will NOT be considered.

To receive Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant funds, the applicant or fiscal agent must be registered with the IRS and have a tax identification number. Fiscal agents often take responsibility for financial or other types of transactions for another entity. If the applicant organization will not be the direct fiscal agent for contracting purposes, list the name of the desired fiscal agent. For the purposes of this grant application and the resulting grant agreement, a fiscal agent is a separate entity that agrees to assure that a project will use awarded grant funds to accomplish the activities described in the grant application and the resulting grant agreement. 

Fiscal agents are eligible for grant awards on behalf of the applicant organization in any of the following circumstances:

  1. The fiscal agent must be identified at the time the grant application is submitted. The fiscal agent shall either be the grant applicant or clearly identified as the fiscal agent for the applicant organization in the grant application.
  2. The fiscal agent is also eligible for a grant award.
  3. The fiscal agent takes responsibility not just for financial matters related to the grant, but for all aspects of grant performance and monitoring. This may include financial accounting, performance of the grant accomplishments, performance reporting and financial reporting.

Note:  The fiscal agent must remain unchanged during the full period of the grant.

Capacity Building activities are awarded separately from Fuels & Forest Health projects through this grant program. If the Capacity Building application is associated with a separate Fuels & Forest Health grant application, the applicant must indicate whether the separate Fuels & Forest Health Project application is contingent upon funding of this Capacity Building project by checking “yes.” In other words, if the Capacity Building application were not funded, would the Fuels & Forest Health Project application still be viable if funded?

Colorado Forest AtlasThis section includes a checklist of required elements for each application. If the application does not include all of the items below (i.e. any items checked “No”), the application will be considered ineligible.

Is the project area within the wildland-urban interface (WUI) of Colorado? The below will help you determine if the project area is located in the WUI:

  1. Launch the Wildfire Risk Reduction Planner.
  2. On the left menu bar, select the Analyze Project Areas dropdown and click the “MANAGE PROJECT AREAS” button. A “Manage Project Areas” menu box will open on the right side of the window.

Click the “+” button in the bottom right corner of the “Manage Project Areas” menu box to create a new project area. The project area can be created by using the “DRAW SHAPE” tool (point or polygon) or you can upload an existing shapefile or KML of the project area if you have one. Shapefiles must be in a compressed zip folder (.zip) and projected in NAD 1983 UTM Zone 13N coordinate reference system. See the Wildfire Risk Reduction Planner User Manual for more detailed instructions.

Note: When uploading a shapefile, you must press the “SELECT” button and then click on your shapefile in the map (it should turn green when selected) and click “FINISH”.

 
Colorado Forest Atlas Create Project
Colorado Forest Atlas New Project Area
 
  • Once your project area has been created, expand the Explore Map Themes dropdown on the left menu bar. Then select the Landscape Characteristics dropdown, and turn on the Wildland Urban Interface layer. If your project area falls within or touches the Wildland Urban Interface layer, you can answer “YES” on this application questions. You can now turn the layer off.

Is there a map showing the project location with the 2020 Forest Action Plan Composite Priority theme and the Areas of Fewer Economic Resources (Social Vulnerability Index) layer visible? Include a required 1-page map showing the project location with the 2020 Forest Action Plan Composite Theme and Social Vulnerability layer visible.

From the Colorado Forest Atlas homepage, users should launch the Wildfire Risk Reduction Planner application to create a project area, view, and print maps of the project area with the Composite Priority theme overlaid and the Social Vulnerability Index layer visible. The Wildfire Risk Reduction Planner application requires that users create an account with the Colorado Forest Atlas, free of charge, before they are able to access the application. Account requests are usually approved within 1 day of submitting the request.

  • Expand the Reference Layers dropdown on the left menu bar on the Colorado Forest Atlas and turn on the required Social Vulnerability Index layer and any other helpful or relevant layers such as Ownership or County Boundaries. If your project area falls within the cross-hatching that indicates you are eligible for a 25% match.
  • Next, expand the Explore Map Themes dropdown and under the 2020 Forest Action Plan dropdown turn on the Forest Action Plan Composite layer. Adjust the Theme Transparency in order to see any relevant Reference Layers. Both the Social Vulnerability Index and Forest Action Plan Composite layers should now be visible on your map along with your project area.
  • Scroll down on the left hand menu to the Print Map Enter a map title (i.e. project name) and description (i.e., FRWRM application map), then click on “Print Map.” A white extent box will appear on your screen. Drag and move the box (if necessary) to center your project and then click the check mark inside the circle on the map to indicate the area surrounding the dashed rectangle is the area that should be printed and then click “PRINT”.
  • The application will then create a map. This may take a moment. A small popup window will appear that includes a “download” link to the PDF map. Double check that the map includes all the relevant layers. Save the map as a PDF for use in your application.

2020 Forest Action Plan Composite Theme

The Composite Priority Map prioritizes areas that address combined Themes of Forest Conditions, Living with Wildfire and Watershed Protection.

  • The Forest Conditions Theme Priority Map evaluates threats such as insect and disease disturbance, canopy fire and land use conversion.
  • The Living with Wildfire Theme Priority Map evaluates wildfire risk including the wildland urban interface, drinking water assets, forest and riparian assets combined with burn probabilities.
  • The Watershed Protection Theme Priority Map evaluates improving and maintaining quality of water and infrastructure by looking at infrastructure and predicted post-fire erosion rates.
  • More information on the 2020 Colorado Forest Action Plan and Themes can be found on the Forest Atlas at https://coloradoforestatlas.org/.

Social Vulnerability Index

Projects located partially or fully in areas identified as having Fewer Economic Resources may match 25% in cash and/or in-kind match to 75% grant funds for the total project budget. All other projects areas must match 50% in cash and/or in-kind match to 50% grant funds for the total project budget. When viewing the Social Vulnerability Index, the project areas within the cross-hatching indicate a project is eligible for a 25% match. Additional information on the Social Vulnerability Index and how areas of fewer economic resources are defined can be found on the Wildfire Risk Reduction Planner application in the Forest Atlas at: https://coloradoforestatlas.org/.

Additional risk maps, such as a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) map or other Forest Action Plan theme maps such as Watershed Protection or Forest Conditions, may be included and should be clearly labeled.

If further assistance is needed, please reference the user manual on the CO Forest Atlas support page or contact us using the form on the Colorado Forest Atlas Contact page at: https://coloradoforestatlas.org/contact.

  • Has the applicant made the required contact to either the Colorado Timber Industry Association (CTIA) or the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) Colorado Wood Utilization and Marketing (CoWood) Program Specialist? CoWood: Tim Reader, Program Specialist of Utilization & Marketing, (970) 247-5250 or tim.reader@colostate.edu,CTIA: Molly Pitts, Colorado Timber Industry Association, (928) 521- 9476 or coloradopitts@gmail.com. Please enter the date of any correspondence with CoWood or CTIA.
  • Has the applicant contacted forest products or wood utilization businesses or incorporated wood utilization as required? All applicants are required to reach out to wood utilization businesses unless the applicant is utilizing all woody materials.
  • Is there a required plan for utilizing forest products/woody materials generated by the project? If utilization is not a viable option, applicants must describe what will occur to materials generated from the project. When the applicant utilizes materials, the value and products should be clearly articulated in Sections F. Total Project Budget, G. Budget Narrative and K. Forest Product Utilization of the application.
  • Were county officials consulted for this project? Acceptable county officials may be county commissioners, representatives from the sheriff’s office, county forester or forestry staff or county wildfire coordinators. Attach a required letter of support from a county official.
  • Is there a formal commitment for matching funds? Matching funds confirmation can be communicated through letters of support.
  • By checking this box, the applicant indicates that the contents of the application are accurate to the best of their knowledge and agrees to all contracting requirements including reporting and monitoring requirements described in the Request for Applications.

Minimum required application materials

  1. Completed pdf application with eligibility items checked ‘yes’
  2. Project location map displaying the boundary of the project area on the Composite Priority Map of the 2020 Forest Action Plan and the Social Vulnerability Index
  3. Letter of support from a county official

This section is a summary of project details.

  • Provide the approximate number of homes and critical infrastructure elements directly affected by this project.
  • Provide the total number of acres to be treated. This can be measured using the measure tool in the Colorado Forest Atlas Wildfire Risk Reduction Planner. Through this grant program the CSFS will only pay for acres treated within project boundaries. Areas that are inoperable, inaccessible, or retained as untreated “reserves” will not be counted toward treated acres. Successful applicants will be required to complete the proposed acres in order to receive full reimbursement at project completion.
  • Provide the total number of acres on federal lands that are included in the project (if applicable). Projects may include federal lands so long as the project maintains continuity (within 1 mile) across a landscape including federal lands and the total number of federal acres is less than the combined total of non-federal acres.
  • Provide the estimated cost per acre for the proposed project. Cost per acre should be determined by dividing the total project budget from Section F. Total Project Budget (both the total grant share and match share combined) by the total number of acres proposed for treatment. 2022-2023 Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Application Instructions – Fuels & Forest Health Projects Page 7 of 13
  • Is the project identified through a community-based collaborative process such as a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), Critical Watershed Wildfire Protection Plan, FEMA approved hazard mitigation plan, or similar? If yes, list the plan name(s).
  • List the year that the CWPP or similar plan was complete or revised.
  • Will the project involve an accredited Colorado Youth Conservation or Veterans Corps organization? Type yes or no. Include a description of involvement in sections D. Project Objectives and L. Partners and Supporters.
  • Will the project result in protection of water supplies? Type yes or no. Sections D. Project Objectives, H. Project Area Description, and I. Prescription and Scientific Foundation should address how the project will protect water supplies such as water quality, water quantity and/or associated infrastructure. Include the proximity to water source(s) and/or infrastructure, the significance of water supply/infrastructure and impact to communities.
  • In the instance of the project being partially funded, is the project still viable with reduced outcomes (i.e., is the project scalable)? Type yes or no and briefly describe scalability.
  • Provide a brief overall summary description of the project

 

Briefly describe the project objectives. Clearly describe how the project goals align with the specific goals of the Colorado State Forest Action Plan* and specific Community Wildfire Protection Plan or similar plan goals and objectives (if applicable).

* The 2020 Colorado State Forest Action Plan is required by the 2008 Farm Bill to help guide where the CSFS directs resources to and is available in the Forest Action Plan application on the Forest Atlas.

Describe any local measures that reduce wildfire risk to people, property and infrastructure that the communities have adopted or plan to adopt.

Examples of adoption of local measures:

  • Existing Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs) or similar plans (current or revised plans less than 5 years old would receive greater preference)
  • Adoption of, or plans to adopt, county or local building codes for wildfire mitigation
  • Wildfire Mitigation Overlay Zoning (if existing would receive higher preference)
  • Participation in Firewise USA® program
  • Demonstrated ongoing citizen outreach and education about wildfire risk
  • Hazard mitigation planning
  • Forest management planning and implementation
  • Existing slash/mulch collection or chipping programs

This section is for matching share only. DO NOT show grant-requested funds in this table.

Matching contributions must be either 50% of the total project cost (grant and match) or 25% of the total project cost (grant and match) if located in an area of fewer economic resources (cross-hatching within the Social Vulnerability Index layer). 

To learn more about areas defined as having fewer economic resources and the resulting Social Vulnerability Index please review report and data layer in the Wildfire Risk Reduction Planner application located on the Forest Atlas

For projects located in areas outside of areas of fewer economic resources (outside cross-hatching area within the Social Vulnerability Index layer), applicants must demonstrate an ability to match requested grant funds for a minimum of a 1:1, or dollar-for-dollar, grant to match ratio. For example, if the total project budget is $100,000 the minimum match would be $50,000 and the grant funding request would be $50,000 (50%)

Proposed projects located within areas of fewer economic resources (cross-hatching in Social Vulnerability Index layer) are required to match the requested grant funds for a minimum of 3:1, grant to match ratio. For example, if the total project budget is $100,000, the minimum match would be $25,000 (25%)

Providing match beyond the minimum requirement is allowed and will result in additional scoring preference for projects that are located outside of fewer economic resource areas (outside cross-hatching in the Social Vulnerability Index layer). Because of this preference, successful applicants that propose additional match must provide the proposed match ratio. For example, if an applicant proposes a $250,000 project with a grant request of $100,000 (40%) and proposed match of $150,000 (60%), the award will reflect the proposed match and the identified $150,000 (60%) match must be provided in order to receive full grant reimbursement.

All matching funds, but specifically in-kind match, must be clearly quantified and justified in Section G. Budget Narrative of the grant application. Applications will be disqualified if sufficient match is not identified.

Contributors
Specify the name of each match contributor and the dollar amount of each contribution. Spell out all acronyms in Section G. Budget Narrative

Cash match (dollars)
Cash match is defined as direct funds made available to the project applicant (or their fiscal agent) for use in achieving work through the proposed project. Cash match could include cash on hand, commitments from lending institutions or contributions from landowners with a signed letter indicating their commitment.

In-kind match
In-kind match includes donated supplies, equipment, staff time or volunteer time/sweat equity directly related to the project. Donated time will be accounted for using current volunteer labor rates of $30.31/hour for 2022.

This section should reflect the entire budget for the proposed project. The grant share column should reflect the state grant funds being requested in this application. The match columns should carry over information from Section E. Matching Contributions of the application. Please ensure that total budget numbers are calculated correctly. All listed expenses should be described in detail in Section G. Budget Narrative

Personnel/Labor
Include expenses directed toward staff time or labor. Grant administration activities such as compiling paperwork for reimbursements and reports cannot be included as part of the grant share, but is considered a cash match. Sweat equity (such as homeowner or volunteer labor) cannot be included as part of the grant share or cash match, but is considered an in-kind match at the volunteer hourly rate of $30.31 per individual.

Supplies/Materials
Include expenses for supplies or rental equipment used to complete project activities.

Contractual Services
Include expenses that will be contracted out to a third-party.

Equipment
Include anticipated expenses incurred on the direct purchase of equipment.

Indirect Costs
Include a wide variety of items not specifically broken out in the budget known as facilities and administrative costs such as costs for utilities, telephone, copying, accounts payable, payroll, purchasing agent’s time and routine administrative services.  Indirect costs paid by the grant may not exceed 10% of the grant total.  Additional indirect costs (beyond 10%) may be used as match but must be documented with an established rate.

Anticipated project revenue
List anticipated cost offsets or revenues generated from the utilization of forest products or woody biomass. Any revenue generated by the project must be explained clearly in the budget narrative and be factored into the grant request.  For example, if the cost for treatment is $3,000 per acre but utilization will decrease the cost to $2,500 per acre; show the $500 per acre as revenue, request funding based on the $2,500 per acre and explain the reasoning in Section G. Budget Narrative

Describe in detail the budget line items listed in Sections E. Matching Contributions and F. Total Project Budget. Clearly explain how specific project costs were estimated. For example, estimated per-acre costs of contracted work should be supported by bids, known costs from previous or similar projects, or other means. Per-hour labor rates should also be explained. Describe the role of each entity involved in project implementation, the known terms of contracts associated with the project, and the nature of in-kind contributions. Clearly explain the anticipated project revenue or cost-savings, how revenue is factored into the grant request, the intended use of any revenue, and how revenue generated will further the objectives of the program. For example, will the revenue allow more acres to be treated? Describe your ability to leverage grant funds with other funding sources. If you have received project bids or contract estimates from the wood utilization industry, please include them in Section L. Partners and Supporters.

Describe the project area and current conditions to include: geographical or legal description, forest type, land ownership breakdown (including acres) and the community or communities in which the project will take place including population, number of homes and structures and other values at risk. If the project relates to a utility, describe the utility service area, population served, and infrastructure and/or water supplies protected. Participating landowners or organizations must be confirmed prior to applying.

Discuss the current forest conditions such as species composition, tree density, health, etc. Provide details when possible and explain how conditions were evaluated. Address how the project reduces hazardous fuels and/or improves forest condition and to what extent.

Describe the prescription and scientific foundation for the project and the specific practice standards that will be applied to achieve the desired outcomes of the project. Descriptions should be detailed and measurable and may include; the distance fuels mitigation work will be conducted from homes and structures, target basal area for forest thinning, target fuel loading, target percentage for the reduction of continuous tree and shrub canopy cover, etc. Describe how invasive 2022-2023 Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Application Instructions – Fuels & Forest Health Projects Page 10 of 13 species will be managed during project implementation as well as how wildlife impacts will be considered. Prescriptions should specifically address how projects will comply with Colorado Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs). The scientific foundation should be substantiated by a reliable and professional resource with proper interpretation and recognized as appropriate to the local conditions found on the project site. Resources include publications such as CSFS guidelines and/or research articles from relevant studies appropriate to Colorado (e.g., research on Front Range forests by the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute and/or the Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership), management plans, and the expertise of CSFS foresters, consultants or other professionals. CSFS guidelines include Forestry BMPs, thinning standards, and guidelines on defensible space, fuels mastication, shaded fuelbreak development, etc., and can be found at http://csfs.colostate.edu/csfspublications/.

Please be aware that successful applicants may be required to submit a more detailed prescription prior to a grant award from the CSFS.

 

Explain the strategic nature of the project. Identify if the proposed project will take place adjacent or in close proximity to other planned or previously treated forest areas on state, local government, municipal, private or federal lands. Explain whether the project will be implemented across land-ownership boundaries; if it is within a priority area identified in a completed Community Wildfire Protection Plan or FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan; and/or if it is part of a larger landscape-scale treatment effort. Describe the benefits the project will have to the respective community or residents. If appropriate, explain how the proposed project could serve as a catalyst for future forest management projects.

Describe plans for utilizing forest products/woody material from planned project sites. Name the specific product(s). Visit the Colorado Wood Utilization and Marketing (CoWood) webpage at http://csfs.colostate.edu/cowood/ and/or the Colorado Timber Industry Association (CTIA) at http://coloradotimber.org for further information on wood utilization. Contact CoWood representative Tim Reader at (970) 247-5250 or tim.reader@colostate.edu or CTIA representative Molly Pitts, at (928) 521- 9476 or coloradopitts@gmail.com for information on incorporating wood utilization into projects. List the names and dates of communications with any businesses that have been contacted regarding wood utilization. If any partnerships with industry are planned, please provide those details also. Attach current bids or contract estimates from industry if applicable

Describe coordination that will occur with participating groups/organizations and include partner contributions to the project. Specify conversations with county officials, including names, dates and locations, and describe how an accredited Colorado Youth Conservation or Veteran Corps organization, if any, will be included in the project. Include letters of support from relevant organizations as attachments along with formal commitments from financial institutions, landowners and/or industry.

Provide a timeline for the project including project beginning and end dates as well as project milestones with specific targets for completion.  All projects funded in this cycle must be completed by March 31, 2027.

Outline long-term plans to monitor and maintain the improved landscape conditions achieved through implementation of the proposed project. Monitoring and maintenance activities that do not use grant dollars are expected to occur after the project period to sustain the benefits of the treatments. Identify who will plan and provide the project monitoring and maintenance services, how the work will be funded, what monitoring and maintenance will be needed to sustain the long-term benefits and at what frequency monitoring and maintenance will be necessary.

  1. Project Relation to Forest Action Plan and Local Actions – 10 pts
    (Sections D)
    Are the objectives of the project clearly defined and do project goals align with specific goals in the Colorado State Forest Action Plan? Does the project fit into the goals of a specific Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) or other similar collaborative plan? Have the community/communities adopted local measures to reduce wildfire risk?

  2. Budget – 10 pts
    (Sections E, F & G)
    Review both the budget breakdown and the accompanying narrative. Are expenditures clear, and have utilization revenues been considered and explained? Do costs seem reasonable and/or justified for the proposed work? Does the budget provide effective leverage for other funds or in-kind contributions?

  3. Project Area Description and Current Conditions – 10 pts
    (Sections H)
    How well is the project area defined (i.e., does it list participating landowners)? Consider any maps included: 2020 Forest Action Plan Composite Priority map, other Forest Action Plan theme maps, CWPP maps, etc. Do the maps align, and what priority value are the projects located? Are the projects likely to be effective in reducing risk to identified values?

  4. Prescription and Scientific Foundation – 10 pts
    (Section I)
    How appropriate are the standards and prescriptions to achieve the project and grant program’s objectives within the current forest condition? Do the scientific standards reflect best available information? Are applicable Colorado Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) addressed or discussed? Have applicants consulted with experts? Have CSFS guidelines been integrated? Are the prescription standards detailed and measurable?

  5. Strategic Value of Project – 5 pts
    (Section J)
    Does the project tier to a county plan, watershed assessment or relevant CWPP? Is it adjacent or in close proximity to other planned or previously treated areas? Are federal treatment areas applicable? Will the project achieve results at a meaningful scale?

  6. Forest Product Utilization – 5 pts
    (Section K)
    Has the applicant made an effort to include wood utilization and do utilization plans appear to maximize the possibilities? Has the applicant corresponded with any wood products businesses? Are details provided?

  7. Partners and Supporters – 5 pts
    (Section L)
    Does the project maximize the use of partners and supporters? Review letters of support including those from the county level (required), and consider any plans to partner with Youth Corps or Veterans Corps.

  8. Timeline – 5 pts
    (Section M)
    Is the timeline organized with clearly defined beginning and end dates, project milestones, and specific targets completed at specific times? Does the proposed timeline seem achievable?

  9. Maintenance/Sustainability – 5 pts
    (Section N)
    Is there an appropriate plan to maintain the project after completion? Does the maintenance plan include details of who will accomplish maintenance tasks, how the work will be funded and how often activities will occur?

  10. Additional Consideration/Preference – 5 pts

    Additional points will be given to applications that demonstrate:
    • Additional leverage of resources and collaboration
    • Adoption of local measures to reduce wildfire risk
    • Partnership with Youth or Veterans Groups
    • Protection of water supplies