Report: Work to reduce wildfire risks has economic benefits

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal report shows that projects to reduce the risk of wildfires and protect water sources in the U.S. West have created jobs and infused more money in local economies.

The U.S. Geological Survey study focused on several counties along the New Mexico-Colorado border that make up the watershed of one of North America’s longest rivers, the Rio Grande.

The projects include forest thinning and other work funded by a partnership between governments and businesses that has become a model in other countries.

The Nature Conservancy launched the partnership and estimates it has resulted in an economic impact of about $18 million within five years.

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