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Colorado Receives Watershed Protection Funds

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Colorado is one of five states splitting up $3 million in emergency funding from the U.S. Department of Agricultureto help repair any flood damage caused by this year’s record mountain snowpack.

The announcement was made on Friday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Dave Wolf is with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Denver. He says the early release of Emergency Watershed Protection funds is a proactive step. But says right now it’s too early to tell how it may be used.

“We’ve had some minor flooding and these EWP funds are for after a disaster and currently were not in that category yet,” says Wolf.

Watershed communities in Colorado’s northern and central mountains are at particular risk of soil erosion in floodplains because of runoff. The federal funding is also going to Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming – where snowpack levels are 200 to 300% higher than normal for this time of the year.

Email: brian.larson@kunc.org