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DENVER -- As the Colorado Division of Forest prepares to embark on the daunting task of stabilizing volatile mountain slopes and protecting threatened watersheds impacted by recent wildfires, Shell Oil Co. launched a Web site that seeks to direct much needed financial help to the project.
Through www.reforestcolorado.org, individuals can securely make donations to the Colorado State Forest Service's efforts to address the immediate threats of soil erosion and water contamination that have resulted from the wildfires currently ravaging Colorado.
In addition to the Web site, Shell is financing newspaper advertisements encouraging private citizens to donate to the ReForest Colorado campaign through the Web site or directly to an account at The Bank of Cherry Creek. All contributions will benefit the Colorado State Forest Service's efforts to rejuvenate the areas impacted by wildfires.
"On behalf of Shell employees nationwide, I offer our empathy and support to the individuals and families impacted by these tragic fires. Through forest rehabilitation, the state Forest Service will help protect communities from mudslides and contaminated drinking water supplies," said Steve Miller, chairman, president and CEO of Shell Oil. "Shell believes that Colorado's forests are truly an American treasure, and we are committed -- along with so many others -- to helping restore the majesty of the state's damaged lands."
According to the Colorado State Forest Service, soil erosion is the most immediate danger following a wildfire. Heat from the fire can cause forest soils to melt, making the ground unable to adequately absorb water. Future heavy rains could cause mudslides and flooding that displace tons of soil, trees and other debris and contaminate water reservoirs, streams and rivers. With the Hayman fire so close to Cheesman Reservoir, a major source of Denver's drinking water, the threat is even more hazardous. Reforestation efforts must be initiated quickly to lower this risk of soil erosion, Miller said.