November Update by Jody Dickson
As is often the case, unfortunately our October event had to be cancelled due to high winds that day. We plan to get back there early next season. We’ve been knocking out some of those smaller projects that we had on our list to do. Mostly it has been chipping slash piles and then hauling the chips away! As we mentioned last time, if you’ve been waiting for us and haven’t heard from us in a while, please don’t be shy about giving us a reminder!! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 303-588-6639
By the time this issue prints, Jeffco Slash collection continues for one more weekend (Nov 3 – 6th) down at Blue Mountain. More information can be found at: https://www.jeffco.us/2493/Slash-Collection The Nederland and Gilpin County sort yards are closed for the season, so maybe it is time to take a break. Ah, we know better. We may slow down over winter, but work doesn’t stop. We’ll make some good piles for next year!
Speaking of next year, we are building our schedule of events for next summer. If you’d like to be on that schedule, please just contact us at the email or number above so we can start planning. Also let us know if you’d like to be part of our chainsaw class which we’ll plan on hosting in the spring.
Featured Volunteer – Chris Reichard
I’m sure I’m not going to be able to adequately capture all the Chris Reichard does for Saws & Slaws and our community! He has been volunteering for us since the very beginning as he was part of our first Divide View Drive event before their house was build there. Officially on the books, he has volunteered over 50 hours with us, but I’m guessing there is another 50 hours off the books JUST THIS YEAR! Driven by a personal passion that recognizes the wildfire risk to our community and thus wanting to do what we can to ensure the safety of our whole community, Chris has been dedicated to continuous learning about what the risks are and what we can do about it. Then he takes that information to do what he can to make Coal Creek Canyon safer. Not only has he been volunteering for Saws & Slaws, but he also is driving the Camp Eden/Copperdale community visioning effort as well as dedicating time and resources to other wildfire mitigation groups and efforts. We at Saws & Slaws have a lot to be grateful for that Chris has done with us and for the whole community.
Let’s get to know Chris a little better:
What’s your favorite Tree? Two answers and one strays a bit from the question.
– Large, old Douglas fir that probably survived past fires. Especially the ones with gnarly branches and broken tops.
– Felled lodgepole pine, preferably cut in groups to create forest openings that improve wildlife habitat. Upper Coal Creek Canyon is overloaded with lodgepole, much of it near the end of its life cycle or already dead.
What neighborhood do you live in? Off Camp Eden Road on Divide View Drive.
If you had to evacuate right now what would you grab? Of course people, pets, and important papers. But most of our stuff is replaceable and life safety would be the priority over any material item. However, I would grab an old wool blanket that my grandmother gave me.
How did you find out about Saws and Slaws? Not sure exactly since it has been so long. Probably from Jody and Steve or the Mountain Messenger. We also joined a neighborhood event while building our house which was some early involvement that helped prepare our defensible space.
What motivates you to devote your time to fire mitigation with Saws and Slaws? Despite all the news stories, continually escalating wildfires and the knowledge that communities like ours need to be proactive, there is no army coming to do it for us. The Saws and Slaws model works best with large numbers of volunteers, people volunteering outside their immediate neighborhood and being part of the mitigation army. Another motivation is that there is a relatively small group of highly dedicated, repeat volunteers that show up over and over regardless of the neighborhood. I also volunteer to help out the repeat volunteers.
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten at the Potluck? I have had great slow cooked meat like pork at several events
What’s your favorite thing about Coal Creek Canyon? Being so fortunate to live in a semi-wild setting without all the structure and commotion of urban/suburban areas.
Thanks, Chris!! We love having you as a volunteer, too, and if I may be so bold to speak for the rest of the community… so does everyone else!!
Safety Tip of the Month: This is a repeat of a safety tip we’ve published before, but it is still and always important: Know and Respect Your Limits! If you don’t feel comfortable felling a particular tree for *any* reason, then simply don’t do it! There is no shame in keeping yourself and property safe. Needless to say, if you want to learn the skills, take the time to ask an expert for instruction or advice. At Saws & Slaws events, we often have a professional on hand who can help give guidance if you still want to fell a tree but want to make sure you know what you are doing. Another alternative is that you can hire someone to do the work for you. If your gut is telling you to be cautious, trust your gut, evaluate the risks and act accordingly. As the old saying goes “Better safe than sorry.”
Saws and Slaws is a 501(c)3 organization committed to Building Stronger Communities Through A Healthier Forest. Find out more at http://sawsandslaws.org and Join Us!