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Interview: USFS Chief Sees Funding Model In Colorado

DENVER (AP) – The man charged with overseeing the U.S. Forest Service says collaboration among Colorado water providers, corporations and government to pay for forest projects that preserve drinking water supplies could provide a national funding model for such projects.

Agriculture Undersecretary Harris Sherman says officials have to be more focused on how money is spent amid budget constraints.

In the past the Forest Service has persuaded companies like Vail Resorts Inc. and utilities like Denver Water to chip in money for reseeding areas burned by wildfires or thinning dead trees that could fuel catastrophic fires. Erosion of burned soil can sully water supplies.

Sherman said Wednesday that the Forest Service also is talking with utilities and insurance companies interested in preventing wildfires that could damage power lines or homes.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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