Wildfire Mitigation Task Force Announcement
In September 2013, the Wildfire Insurance and Forest Health Task Force issued an 80 page report to Governor Hickenlooper outlining concerns and recommendations regarding how to best protect citizens who live in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI), and protect Colorado’s landscape, which is a critical element of the State’s economic health. Their findings also brought to light related issues of water resource protection, property values, wildlife balance, insurance premiums, and citizen safety which have been directly affected by severe wildfires in the Western United States.
Unfortunately, the report also included a series of real estate-related recommendations that would impose new costs and requirements for real estate transactions and increase the costs associated with property transfers and ownership. For additional detailed information and statistics from the Governor’s Task Force, please click here.
To adequately address these issues, our newly-formed CAR/Local Board Wildfire Mitigation Task Force has established the following core beliefs:
1) We believe these issues have a direct bearing on our industry, our clients and customers, and on the economy of our State;
2) We believe REALTORS® have the ability, heart, and commitment to lead a major effort around Colorado to educate the Public, facilitate community discussion, and organize mitigation and defensible space initiatives where appropriate;
3) We believe that Local Boards can take the lead in this effort, being front and center in their communities, with shared resources from other Boards, CAR, and NAR to streamline the process.
4) We believe that REALTORS® CARE enough to spearhead non-legislative efforts across the State and gather appropriate stakeholders to truly make a difference and change the complexion of the conversation.
We are writing today because we need your help. This is a massive effort, and one in which we can be proud to stand up and take the leading role in our communities. Nearly every local Board, including much of the Metro area, has identified risk zones in the WUI. Remember that some of the most severely affected fire areas last year were in residential areas of Colorado Springs, for example. We would like to get a commitment from as many Local Boards as possible to work with us on this effort, start the process in their home areas, and reach out to other stakeholders such as fire officials, local and county governments, and Forest Service officials to frame a program for our citizens that includes education, providing lists of resources and grants to assist in creating defensible space, and lead the charge to make our state a safer place.
To that end, we will be hosting a Webcast on Wednesday, June 4th at 9 am to share more information with you. All are welcome to participate, or you can delegate some members of your local Association to represent your area. You can register for the Webcast by clicking here. If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns regarding the Webcast or the Task Force, please contact Jaclyn Dearien, Government Affairs at jdearien@ColoradoREALTORS.com or Bonnie Smith at Bonnie@BonnieSmith.com .
Our intent, if all goes as planned, is to harness our energies together, share ideas and resources, and ask NAR for REALTOR® Party funding to assist in spreading this message to stakeholders and policymakers throughout Colorado.
Will you step up and add your voice to the conversation? This is a true REALTOR® Call to Action in your own backyard. Together, we CAN make a difference. Thank you!
Jolon Ruch | 2014 Chairman of the Board Don Flynn | President & CEO