The Economic Recovery committee is looking for short-term and long-term solutions to assist affected businesses in the region.

Team Leader - Karla Shriver, Rio Grande County

In addition to the public safety and private property concerns, the fire is situated at the headwaters and along the watershed of the main stem of the Rio Grande River and many of its tributaries. The primary economic industry of the communities of Creede, South Fork, and Lake City and Rio Grande, Hinsdale, and Mineral counties are tourist-dependent. These counties boast a high percentage (Hinsdale – 96%, Mineral – 95%, Rio Grande – 60%) of public lands and the outdoor recreation industry is heavily influenced by wilderness access, roads and trails, fishing, hunting, and scenic values.

RWEACT will provide an intentional collaboration forum for organizations seeking to recover economic impacts (both short-term and long-term) from the wildfire event.

  • Immediate personal needs funding received from El Pomar Foundation. 
  • Creede Community Relief Fund
  • Partner with regional tourism boards  and the Colorado Tourism Office as appropriate
  • Rio Grande Tourism Board
  • US Small Business Administration and Economic Injury Business Loans - low interest loans available to small businesses economically impacted by the West Fork Complex fire - application deadline:  April 15, 2014
  • The Del Norte Bank is offering business assistance for marketing campaigns. If a business has no advertisement budget: Bank will co-op with business 50/50 for dollars spent. If a business has an advertisement budget, if the business will expand budget 25%, bank will contribute 50% of new budget. Limit of $500 of Co-op budget per business Deadline: August 31, 2013  Contact Mike Hurst or Scott Stecken,   719-657-3376
  • So far, Rio Grande fires not affecting trout in the San Luis Valley
  • Impacts on Big Game Hunting in Unit 76 after the fire
  • Develop and support a “Buy Local” program identifying the micro-economic benefit of dollar distribution throughout a community
  • Develop long-term strategies for impacts on outdoor recreation (fishing and hunting) and scenic assets.
  • Support local groups developing around relief efforts.
  • Work with the USDA Forest Service and Colorado State Forest Service for additional wood utilization efforts and professional development workshops, including assistance from FEMA and the CWCB for Flood Insurance Workshops and other events.
  • Work with USDA Forest Service to replace economic impacts of previously sold Timber Sale areas for new areas or replacement areas.