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Chipping Reimbursement Program
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Community Chipping Reimbursement Program

2019 Boulder County Community Chipping Program

Boulder County is proud to announce its 27th year of financial assistance for community chipping events. For 2019, we have made significant changes to the program. If you applied for funding in the past, please review this new information carefully. You will not be able to simply copy and paste your applications from previous years.

Over the last five years, grant funding for Wildfire Partners allowed us to approve almost all the chipping applications that we received, totaling up to $40,000 per year. This year, our chipping program will revert back to our regular operating budget of $15,000 per year.

If you are new to this chipping program, you will notice that there are many rules. While we have significantly reduced reporting requirements, we are providing additional information in this announcement to help reduce confusion among project coordinators and chipping contractors. View the Basic Outline for Organizing a Community Chipping Event.

Application Deadline and Submission Instructions

Submit your application online at: and make sure you receive confirmation that your application has been received. The application deadline is May 7, 2019. Boulder County will NOT accept applications submitted after this date.


Community organizations, homeowner associations, fire protection districts, towns, non-profit organizations, and individual community leaders in the mountains and foothills (unincorporated Boulder County and Jamestown, Lyons, Nederland and Ward) are eligible to apply.


We are changing our funding from an amount based on chipping time to a standard funding amount per household or the actual chipping cost, whichever is less. This change will allow us to fund more applications, but also will require participating households (or organizations) to cover a larger share of the chipping costs.

Funding guidelines:

  • The maximum amount of Boulder County funding for a community chipping event is $4,000.
  • At least five home owners (unique addresses) are required for an event to receive funding.
  • Communities may apply for multiple events. However, the county will only fund each unique address once per year.

Standardized county funding amounts:

Wildfire Partners Home Owners*

  • Standard Funding Amount: $100 per unique address (or the actual chipping cost for an address if it is less than $100)

Non-Wildfire Partners Home Owners*

  • Standard Funding Amount: $25 per unique address

*To qualify as a Wildfire Partners home owner, you must complete your Wildfire Partners assessment at least five days prior to your chipping event. You do not need to be certified. Since it may take several days to schedule your assessment, interested residents should apply to Wildfire Partners approximately three weeks prior to their chipping event.

Cost Share Examples:

Community #1 Example: 24 Wildfire Partners residents and 8 non-Wildfire Partners residents participate in the chipping event and the fire district is paying for all non-county chipping expenses. The project coordinator negotiates a daily rate with the chipping contractor of $4,000/day. The chipping and hauling takes 1.5 days. Wildfire Partners pays the contractor $2,600 (24 Wildfire Partners x $100 + 8 non-Wildfire Partners x $25) and the fire district pays the remaining amount of $3,400 ($6,000 – $2,600).

Community #2 Example: Four Wildfire Partners participants and four non-Wildfire Partners participants take part in the chipping event and each home owner is responsible for paying all non-county chipping expenses. The project coordinator negotiates a rate with the chipping contractor of $200/hour for a three-person crew charged in 15-minute increments ($50 per 15 minutes). The contractor would invoice home owners and Wildfire Partners the following amounts:

Address Time Wildfire Partners Share Home Owner Charge
Address 1 – Wildfire Partner 15 minutes* $50.00 $0.00
Address 2 – Wildfire Partner 30 minutes $100.00 $0.00
Address 3 – Wildfire Partner 60 minutes $100.00 $100.00
Address 4 – Wildfire Partner 120 minutes $100.00 $300.00
Address 5 30 minutes $25.00 $75.00
Address 6 45 minutes $25.00 $125.00
Address 7 60 minutes $25.00 $175.00
Address 8 15 minutes $25.00 $25.00
Total 375 minutes $450.00 $800.00

*Since the total charge is less than $100, the county will pay just the total charge of $50.00.

Selection Criteria

If funding requests exceed the amount of funding available, Boulder County will prioritize applications based on the following criteria:

  • communities that have not received funding in the past
  • performance and participation for those communities who have received funding in the past
  • contractor rates
  • disposal of chips (having a transportation of chips off-site option)
  • percentage of Wildfire Partners participants

In the past, some communities have limited participation in their events to Wildfire Partners to promote more effective wildfire risk reduction. While this is acceptable, it is not a requirement of the chipping program. Each community and project coordinator can decide the eligibility requirements for their events.

Chipping Contractors and Volunteers

Each community (project coordinator) is responsible for selecting its own chipping contractor. Communities are free to select any contractor to implement their project. Contractors are not required to be on the Wildfire Partners Forestry Contractor List. Each applicant will negotiate all chipping (and transportation) costs with its selected contractor and determine how these rates will be calculated and charged.
Communities may choose to recruit volunteers to assist with chipping efforts. However, the county’s standard funding amounts are the same whether or not volunteers are used. The chipping contractor will invoice Boulder County for the county’s share of the chipping cost. The chipping contractor will invoice the community (home owners, fire districts or HOAs) for the non-county portion of the chipping costs.
Please note that contractors are not required to chip any material that is not properly staged. Project coordinators are responsible for working with their contractors and notifying participating home owners about requirements for piling slash and resolving any disputes.

Eligible Projects and Expenses

The Boulder County Community Chipping Program will only fund community roadside chipping events in 2019. It will not fund central collection events. Funding is only available for direct costs to chip material and transport chips or slash to a Community Forestry Sort Yard or other location. Funding is not available for tree cutting or staging slash on the side of the road.

Disposal of Chips and Slash

If your chipping contractor broadcasts chips on site, they must follow Wildfire Partners guidelines so they are not increasing wildfire risk. Community chipping events that give participants the option of having chips (or slash) hauled off site are preferred. Project coordinators are responsible for negotiating transportation costs with their contractors and making these costs known to participants. Contractors are also responsible for obtaining approval to dispose of chips at a Boulder County Community Forestry Sort Yard (details will be provided to project coordinators whose applications are funded). Boulder County standard funding amounts are the same for all projects, whether or not chips are broadcast or transported off site.

Budget and Awards

As part of the online application form, project coordinators will request an award amount based on their estimated number of participants. If an application is approved for funding, the county will issue an award with a specific, maximum amount. It may be the amount requested in the application or it may be a smaller amount.

Project coordinators will then need to cap the number of participants who are to receive funding to equal the award amount. For example, if an application includes an estimated 20 Wildfire Partners participants (and no non-Wildfire Partners) for a budget of $2,000 and the county awards the applicant a maximum of $2,000, then the project coordinator needs to limit the $100 standard award amount to the first 20 home owners who sign up for the chipping event. If 22, 26 or more Wildfire Partner home owners end up participating, the county still will only pay $2,000 for chipping costs. If only 10 Wildfire Partner home owners end up participating, the county would then only pay $1,000 (10 x $100) because the $2,000 award amount is the maximum award not the final payment.

Boulder County Paperwork

Five work days prior to the event, the project coordinator will submit a list of residents who have signed up for the community chipping event. Boulder County staff will identify which participants qualify as Wildfire Partners home owners. After the event, the project coordinator will submit the two lists of participants who took part in the event (a Wildfire Partners list and a non-Wildfire Partners list).

Boulder County staff will confirm its contribution to the project, and the chipping contractor will invoice the county for this amount of funding. Boulder County is not involved in the non-county payments for these events. It is up to the project coordinator and/or chipping contractor to handle this aspect of the project.


If you have any questions about the chipping program, please contact Jim Webster at or 720-564-2600.

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