Udall Bill to Help Fire District, Protect Public Safety Heads to President
2nd Natural Resources Win in the Past 2 Months to Become Law
This weekend, Mark Udall’s bill to facilitate a land swap between the Sugar Loaf Fire District and the U.S. Forest Service passed the Senate after unanimously passing the House early Friday. It now heads to the president’s desk, making it another natural resources victory for Colorado to become law in the past couple of months.
“This closes a long chapter for the Sugar Loaf Fire District. The fire district has been instrumental in protecting families and homes near Boulder County from potentially devastating fires, including the Fourmile Canyon fire, all while dealing with this decades-long land dispute,” Udall said. “Now these firefighters have more certainty about their land and can focus on their real work: saving lives and keeping their community safe. I’m glad we were finally able to resolve this issue this year and ensure the area’s public safety for years to come.”
The Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act (S.278), which was co-sponsored by Senator Michael Bennet in the Senate and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis in the House, would allow the fire district in unincorporated Boulder County to secure the land beneath two of its three fire stations and maintain quality wildfire-fighting training and operations for the surrounding community. The fire district will swap 5.17 acres of land in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest between the communities of Boulder and Nederland. The lands transferred to the federal government will become part of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest and managed accordingly.
After introducing the Sugar Loaf bill earlier this year, Udall pushed it through committee and then the Senate passed it last month. Although the bill had no opposition in the Senate, it had been blocked for over a year by gridlock and conflicts about unrelated issues. Once it is signed by the president, it will become the second Udall-introduced natural resources bill to become law in the past two months. The Ski Areas Recreational Opportunity Act, which helps mountain communities and ski areas create stable jobs through the shoulder seasons, was signed by the president on Nov. 7.
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