Winter is here and its a great time to look at where we are and what lies ahead in our wildfire mitigation efforts.Here is a pretty comprehensive article (albeit long) on the current state of affairs in Colorado. http://www.postindependent.
com/news/9232580-113/beetle- forest-colorado-pineThere is a good section on a community that achieved the Firewise Community designation and noticed better insurance rates and improved property values, as a result.It also discusses Gov. Hickenloopers proposal to increase taxes to property owners in the WildlandUrban-Interface…us.The article is from the Glenwood Springs/Grand Junction paper, so it doesn’t mention the terrific work of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, which is regional. But our partnership with CUSP has been instrumental in our designation as a Firewise Community, and we look forward to increased cooperation with them, as well as our partners at the Colorado State Forest Service.Since our community meeting last Spring, we have added 3 more property owner’s to our grant program. This brings the total number of properties signed up to 35 out of 63 properties in Aspen Hills. In addition, we now have a better way of communication between property owners for items of community interest, thanks to Vicki Rector!This year the property owners that signed up to have their work partially or fully contracted will be getting that work done thanks to our friends at CUSP, who will be overseeing the projects. For the rest of us doing our own work, we have until Feb. 2015 to complete the work in order to qualify for the grant. Winter is a good time to cut, although it poses some unique problems, especially when moving felled trees in heavy snow on steep slopes!I look forward to working with all of you in the upcoming year, especially in getting out the information on filling out the required paperwork and keeping track of time for the grant. As you know there is a push in the U.S. Congress to make more funds available for Wildfire Mitigation and both parties seem to be able to agree on that. I will try to keep track of and publicize any future grants as they become available.Please have a wonderful Holiday Season and Merry Christmas!Very Respectfully,Greg Jones