La Plata County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan 2017-18 Update


La Plata County along with each participating jurisdiction will develop an update to the 2012 Multi-jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan (MJHMP) to reduce further losses resulting from disasters. Hazard mitigation is the use of long- and short-term actions to reduce the loss of life, personal injury, and property damage that can result from a disaster. Benefits of mitigation planning include:

  • Identifying actions for risk reduction that are agreed upon by stakeholders and the public,
  • Focusing resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities,
  • Building partnerships by involving citizens, organizations, and businesses,
  • Increasing education and awareness of threats and hazards, as well as their risks,
  • Communicating priorities to State and Federal officials, and
  • Aligning risk reduction with other community objectives.

Planning efforts could include capital projects and other pragmatic activities that can mitigate the impacts of hazards. The 2017-18 MJHMP Update will cover each of the major natural hazards that pose risks to County infrastructure and residents. Recognizing that successful mitigation planning efforts must be communicated and understood by the public, the County approach will include stakeholder participation and input with the use of cutting edge GIS technology to map and updated the hazard information for each hazard profiled in 2017 – 18 MJHMP.

Participating Jurisdictions

The The 2017-18 update will include, at a minimum, the jurisdictions listed below. It is understood that the county encompasses vast areas of land controlled by federal and state land management agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation as shown in the map figure. While the federal government ultimately has jurisdiction in these parts of the County, the La Plata County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan could also be used to document the cross coordination of hazard mitigation efforts. In addition, it will be important to invite organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service (Columbine Ranger District) and the Southern Ute Tribe to be stakeholders in the HMP update process.

  • City of Durango
  • Durango Fire & Rescue Authority
  • Town of Bayfield
  • Town of Ignacio
  • Upper Pine River FPD
  • Los Pinos FPD
  • Fort Lewis FPD


A current and approved hazard mitigation plan is a prerequisite for jurisdictions wishing to pursue funding under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) if a State or Federal disaster should occur. The Robert T. Stafford Act constitutes the statutory authority for most Federal disaster response and recovery activities especially as they pertain to FEMA and FEMA programs.

On October 30, 2000, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act was amended by Public Law 106-390 and is referred to as the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000).  As a DMA 2000 requirement, the La Plata County MJHMP must be updated every five (5) years to remain in compliance with regulations and Federal mitigation grant conditions. Federal regulations require hazard mitigation plans to include a plan for monitoring, evaluating, and updating the hazard mitigation plan. A current and approved hazard mitigation plan is a prerequisite for jurisdictions wishing to pursue funding under the Robert T. Stafford Act.


La Plata County was awarded two FEMA grants to complete the MJHMP update; one from Emergency Management Performance Grant Program (EMPG) and one from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).  These were both award for planning to the County as a subgrantee under Colorado DHSEM to support this project. Using these funds, the County has contracted with Dynamic Planning + Science (DP+S) to update the County’s current local Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  DP+S will provide on-site process facilitation, stakeholder outreach, data collection and analysis, plan writing, and strategy development.