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Coconino County shores up funding for forest restoration in Flagstaff, Williams

Coconino County has approved nearly $8 million for forest restoration projects on the west side of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff and on a mountain overlooking the city of Williams.

The county’s Board of Supervisors approved $7.6 million of capital expenditures for both the Upper Rio de Flag watershed overlooking Flagstaff and Bill Williams Mountain.

The spending package comes weeks after a pair of  studies found that Flagstaff could suffer as much as $3 billion in damages from a major fire on the Peaks.

A similar report in 2016 found that the economic impacts to Williams could reach $700 million. 

Federal dollars are also at play. The Forest Service will spend about $19 million to thin forests in both regions.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.