Local nonprofit awarded grant

Beneficial for Upper Valley with wildfire season on the horizon

    While living amongst a beautiful landscape clearly has more pros than cons, there are some setbacks that come with the idyllic backdrop of our home. There are some wildfire issues that arise in the Leavenworth community that impacts Leavenworth residents either directly or indirectly.
    The Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition is an organization that has been working for over ten years to form ways to coexist with the inevitable wildfire and help shape the area and the residents to be fire adapted.
    "We're working to create a culture, community and landscape adapted to wildfire here in the Leavenworth area," said Corrine Hoffman, CWSC director.
    Recently, the CWSC was awarded two grants to help them continue their mission. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provided $100,000 from the All Lands Forest Restoration Grant Program and $25,000 from the Building Forest Partnerships Grant Program.  
    This money will trickle into several beneficial programs for the CWSC's mission. According to Hoffman, the $25,000 will help pay for several projects - one of which includes the partnership with Chelan County Fire District 3 to help cultivate a slightly more safe community in regard to wildfires.
    "We have two at risk projects where folks are maybe not able to do the work themselves, so we're going to pair up with Chelan County Fire District 3 for these programs to help the community get a little safer," said Hoffman.
    The organization also paired up with the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery to host 'Dump Days' - which will take place at the hatchery and they will be accepting any 'woody' materials like branches and then ship it - this will help reduce fuel.
    As for the $100,000, the CWSC will be joining the ranks of the Wenatchee River Ranger District. The Wenatchee River Ranger District is slated to do 144 acres of treatment and right next to them, the CWSC is shooting for at least 50 acres to cover. Hoffman says that's in the works but can't promise an exact number of acreage.
    There is a pattern of partnering up with outside entities and various organizations - and not without purpose.
    "We have this all lands all hands on deck kind of thing because as we know fire does not respect boundaries - so even though we have to respect boundaries, getting all those hands: private people, residents, state agencies, local agencies, federal agencies - getting all those hands to work across all those lands in a focused manner, connecting those treatment sites so that we have a fuller spectrum of protection for the community," said Hoffman.
    By joining forces and obtaining these grants, the CWSC is hopeful about the future and what it holds for their mission. However, they're not done working toward their mission with these grants and are striving to obtain more funding for the ongoing pro
    There will be a community meeting planned for the spring along with several opportunities to attend community workshops according to Hoffman. For any further questions or interest in the organization, contact Hoffman at (206)-999-8004 or info@chumstickcoalition.org.

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