FLAGSTAFF, AZ – The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project is celebrating its 5-year anniversary with a special community event at Mother Road Brewing Co. on Fri, Oct. 13. Since great-tasting beer starts with clean water, there is reason to celebrate a project that reduces fire risk to area watersheds.
The FWPP was approved by city voters through a $10 million bond initiative in November 2012. The project is a partnership effort between city of Flagstaff, the Coconino National Forest, and the state of Arizona to help reduce the risk of severe wildfire and post-fire flooding in critical watersheds.
“FWPP at its core is a community project,” said Mike Elson, Flagstaff district ranger for the Coconino National Forest. “It’s a truly collaborative community approach to a challenge we are all facing together. That’s why we have reason to celebrate, and it’s why we are seen as a model for so many other communities to consider as well.”
The project has achieved significant progress delivering on the initiative’s agenda that was presented to voters in the 2012 general election. An environmental analysis of more than 15,000 acres was completed and approved in the first three years—a triumph for a project of its complexity and size. Over the past five years, crews and contractors have mobilized to implement fuels reduction treatments on nearly 5,000 acres throughout the project footprint, including Observatory Mesa, state lands within the City and on federal land in the Dry Lake Hills area.
“FWPP has put the city of Flagstaff in a national leadership role in demonstrating how local government, in partnership with state and federal agencies, can effectively address wildfire hazard and the protection of critical watersheds,” said Paul Summerfelt, wildland fire management officer for the city of Flagstaff. “This is the first, and only, voter-approved project of its kind in the country, and the citizens of Flagstaff deserve all the credit for making this happen.”
To celebrate the project’s 5-year milestone, Mother Road Brewery created a special batch of “FWPP watershed beer” and will tap it at the anniversary event. This is a special partnership between a local business that uses water for its products and an initiative aimed at preserving critical watersheds and the community’s water supply.
The Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership invites the public to join members of the FWPP in celebrating the project’s progress and success at Mother Road Brewing Co., 7 S. Mikes Pike, from 6–7 p.m. on Fri, Oct. 13. For more information about FWPP, visit http://www.flagstaffwatershedprotection.org.