BILL SUMMARY for SB09-001
SENATE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ENERGY
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Adopt Amendment L.001 (Attachment C). After some |
Amend SB 09-001, page 9, line 23, after "CWPP" ins
Refer SB 09-001 to the Committee of the Whole, as
|Pass Without Objection|
Pass Without Objection
11:48 AM -- Senate Bill 09-001
Senator Gibbs and Senator Penry, co-prime sponsors, presented Senate Bill 09-001. The bill requires the state forester to establish guidelines for Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs). CWPPs are plans to identify and mitigate fire hazards. The bill was recommended by the Interim Committee on Wildfire Issues in the Wild Land-Urban Interface Areas.
11:55 AM -- Mr. James Reid, Deputy County Fire Marshall, El Paso County, spoke in opposition to the bill. He said the bill will require him to implement CWPPs throughout the county and this will be cost-prohibitive. Senators Penry and Gibbs responded to Mr. Reid's concerns and said CWPPs can be one-page documents adapted from existing fire plans. Mr. Reid said there is a cost to counties even if they qualify for state or federal grants.
12:06 PM Discussion continued about challenges counties may face if they are required to write CWPPs. Senator Gibbs spoke to the federal requirement that local county fire departments write fire plans. Senator Cadman asked why it is necessary for the state to regulate the counties' actions regarding CWPPs.
12:17 PM -- Mr. Robert Harvey, Fire Chief, Leadville, spoke in favor of the bill. Chief Harvey said Colorado is behind other states in the development of pre-incident planning. He explained that evacuation plans are a part of CWPPs that lead to cost-savings when fighting large-scale fires.
12:26 PM -- Mr. Jeff Jahnke, State Forester, Colorado State Forest Service, spoke in favor of the bill. Mr. Jahnke explained factors leading to an increased risk of catastrophic wildfires in the state, including bark beetle kill and the growth of the wild land-urban interface. He said there are currently 108 CWPPs in the state. About 5 CWPPs are county-wide. Mr. Jahnke said about 20 percent of the communities at risk in the state have put together a CWPP. He outlined available sources of funding for writing CWPPs. Mr. Jahnke said that he is not aware of much resistance from local fire authorities to CWPPs.
12:38 PM Mr. Jahnke answered a question about the bill's fiscal note and said that there will be no fiscal impact to his department because they have already completed state-wide mapping to show areas at-risk for wildfire.
12:40 PM -- Mr. Gary Severson, Executive Director, Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, spoke in favor of the bill. Mr. Severson explained what parts of Colorado are represented by the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments. He gave an overview of the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the state because of the bark beetle epidemic and stressed the need for CWPPs. Mr. Severson said many northwestern communities already have CWPPs in place. Mr. Severson addressed questions about the requirements of county fire plans and cooperation with entities managing federally-owned lands.
12:55 PM -- Mr. Chris Piper, representing Denver Water, spoke in favor of the bill. He explained that Denver Water is adversely affected by wildfires. He said Denver Water supports the bill because it encourages collaboration with municipalities. Mr. Piper spoke to L.001 (Attachment C), which was later distributed to committee members.
12:58 PM -- Ms. Peg Ackerman, representing the County Sheriff's of Colorado, spoke about a recent meeting of county sheriffs. She said all the sheriffs were interested in keeping their legislative authority to manage wildfires and are willing to modify existing fire plans to meet the CWPP requirements in the bill. She said the bill would be more favorable if some of the language was changed to allow for existing plans to be used in lieu of requiring new CWPPs. Senator Gibbs spoke in support of this change.
01:03 PM -- Mr. John Giardino, representing Colorado Mountain College, spoke in favor of the bill. He explained that Colorado Mountain College is located in the mountains and it is very concerned about the potential for catastrophic wildfire. He added that the college has a vested interest in protecting its surrounding community because it is primarily funded by property taxes.
|TIME: || 01:05:34 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer SB 09-001 to the Committee of the Whole, as amended, with a favorable recommendation. The motion passed on a vote of 7-0.|
Final YES: 7 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
Mr. Bob Lackner, Office of Legislative Legal Services, addressed questions from the committee. Senator Gibbs made some concluding remarks about the bill and asked for a favorable recommendation. Senator Gibbs addressed questions regarding whether the State Forester is granted authority by the bill to make sure that counties complete CWPPs.
The meeting adjourned.