Celebrating 2022 by Jody Dickson
We always like to take a little bit of time at the end of the year to celebrate another year of Saws & Slaws! We had another excellent year with five regular events doing good fire mitigation work throughout the Coal Creek Canyon community. Officially, we had over 275 volunteered hours of service which represents a value of almost $7,000 of work. Our volunteers don’t get paid, but as you can see there is significant value in what they do! It is important that we recognize that. We had 50 unique volunteers at these events. Not everyone needs to volunteer at every event. We can share the wealth, and every little bit helps. This year, thanks largely to Chris Reichard, we did a lot toward hauling slash and chips out of the forest. While dispersing chips on the ground still has a positive net effect for fire management, it is even better to remove the fuel entirely as we do when we haul the slash to slash collection and sort yards. We also gained access to multiple chippers which made it possible for us to collect small slash piles, chip them on a central site and haul them from there. Small projects like those aren’t represented in the above numbers, so we’ve done A LOT this year!
Of course, we must express a bunch of gratitude to all of our volunteers. They make what we do possible. There are a lot of different reasons people volunteer, and we are grateful for all of those reasons and all of our volunteers. We are also grateful for our homeowners that decide to host events. There are obvious benefits of the work we do on their individual properties, but making the decision to do the fire mitigation work on our own properties ultimately makes our entire community safer. Thank you to our hosting property owners! I also want to thank the entire Saws & Slaws board and organizers. Many of us prefer the work we do in the field, but to keep an organization like ours operating requires significant behind-the-scenes work too! A special shout-out needs to go to Linda Martin as she did the heavy lifting this year that made every one of the aforementioned events happen. Thank you, as always, Linda!
We are very much looking forward to a new season in 2023, our twelfth season! In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and winter “break.” We wish you the best always and look forward to working with you again next year!
Colorado Gives Day is December 6th!!
Colorado Gives Day is the first Tuesday in December which this year falls on December 6th. This is a key fundraising event for non-profits across the state as people from all over the state donate to organizations that support Coloradoans. Since it started in 2010, Colorado Gives Day has generated and kept over $362 million dollars right here in Colorado supporting organizations that help make Colorado a better place to live, work and play. This will be our second year to participate, and we still have a long way to go toward our very ambition goal to replace our dump truck. Having a dump truck makes a huge difference for hauling slash or chips as well as delivering firewood.
Two awesome things happen when we receive donations on or before December 6th. First, your donation makes more people aware of Saws & Slaws as an organization. This helps people from all over the state find and potentially donate to Saws & Slaws. If they are inspired by what we are doing, then they will support the work that we are doing. Second, there is an incentive fund that boosts total donations based on how much each organization receives through private donations. When you make a donation it helps us get a little bit more of that incentive fund.
So take the time to “give where you live” and make a donation to Saws & Slaws on the Colorado Gives website at https://www.coloradogives.org/organization/SawsandSlaws Be sure to take the time to find other organizations that inspire you to donate, too. When we come together as a state, it makes all of us stronger.
Safety Tip of the Month: Wear a helmet when operating a chainsaw! Maybe this is an obvious one, and we’ve talked about wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in general before. A helmet will offer some protection if the chainsaw should kickback bringing the bar near your head. It won’t stop the chain like chaps will, but it is still better to have something between you and the bar and chain! More often a helmet is going to protect your head from falling objects. It is important to always inspect any tree you are feeling for “widow-makers” or branches that are loose. Even if there aren’t any, the vibration from the chainsaw on the tree can cause pieces to break loose, especially on aspens. Ideally when trees are falling, you are a safe distance away, but a helmet can also protect you if you are hit by a branch while the tree is falling. Helmets also often come with ear and eye protection which are very important when operating a chainsaw as well. Finally, make sure your helmet is secure on your head so it doesn’t fall off, causing other issues while you are working.
Celebrating 2022 by Jody Dickson