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Chaffee Common Ground to Allocate Approximately $900,000

Image/Common Ground

On Jan. 12, 2023, Chaffee Common Ground released an announcement that their latest grant cycle is now open.

Community organizations and others interested in applying for funding are encouraged to attend an Information Session from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 23, to learn about eligibility requirements and grant criteria.

Applicants are asked to contact Common Ground Administrator Ben Doon at ccg.cac@gmail.com to obtain virtual access and materials for the Zoom session.

Chaffee Common Ground grants support sustainable agriculture and rural landscapes. Photo courtesy Common Ground and Big River Collective

According to the announcement, approximately $900,000 will be available during this grant cycle for programs and projects that strengthen forest health and reduce wildfire danger; conserve and support agricultural lands and rural landscapes; and manage the impacts of growth in outdoor recreation.

The pre-application deadline is Feb. 10 and the final deadline is March 17. Funding recommendations by the Common Ground Citizens Advisory Committee are subject to approval by the Board of County Commissioners. Awards will be announced in May, 2023.

Grant guidelines and application links are available here.

 

Chaffee Common Ground Releases 2022 Annual Report 

The 2022 Chaffee Common Ground Annual Report has been published and is available here. It is an ongoing effort to provide transparency and accountability to the public.

Michael Hannigan, Vice Chair of the Chaffee Common Ground Citizens Advisory Committee, Courtesy photo

In the cover article, “Taking Charge of the Future”, Michael Hannigan, Vice Chair of the Chaffee Common Ground Citizens Advisory Committee looked back at the progress made by Common Ground over the last four years. Hannigan outlined “five strategies that helped us make the leap from ‘confusing nowhere’ to vital new ideas and ventures.”

Chaffee Common Ground focuses on three priority areas: “reducing wildfire danger and protecting our forest health; sustaining agricultural lands and preserving scenic landscapes; and managing the impact of rapid increase in recreational use while protecting our priceless wildlife and natural resources.”

None of this happens with good intentions alone. It takes focused volunteer effort, community involvement, and significant amounts of money. Funding is provided by a levy of a 0.25 percent sales tax (representing 2.5 cents on a $10 purchase) on county purchases as approved by voters in 2018 Ballot Issue 1A.

According to Hannigan, “one of my favorite quotes is, ‘Vision without funding is just a hallucination.’”

“The Common Ground initiative created the funding to make things happen. No hallucinations, just an increasingly positive view of the future.”

Featured image: Common Ground grant to The Conservancy provides virtual fence boundaries to manage livestock which could help ranchers with many growing challenges. Photo by Taf McMurray