Colorado Senator Michael Bennet visited the site of flood mitigation efforts at the burned Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs today to highlight the need for emergency watershed protection funding after last year’s devastating fire season. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports.
Standing in the snow and flanked by local officials, the Colorado Democrat pointed to sediment ponds aimed at reducing flood risk in the Waldo Canyon burn area. Federal funding was stripped from a Superstorm Sandy relief bill last month, and Bennet says it’s important to reinstate that funding to help protect and restore watersheds.
"We have to convince people again that we have had an emergency in Colorado, which we have, and that this 20 million dollars that we’d be investing here now potentially saves us hundreds of millions of dollars, lives, and personal property, but if we don’t invest it now, the opportunity may be lost."
Bennet said political games have kept the critical funding from reaching the communities that need it. The visit comes as the country teeters on significant budget cuts if Congress doesn’t pass a deficit reduction plan.