Special Community Meeting Held Saturday, March 28, 2015

Meeting began at 2:05 pm and was lead by Charles Banks.

The purpose of this meeting was to provide information and discuss a federal grant that is being offered to our community for fire mitigation. Monitored by the Colorado State Forest Service, and the Platte Canyon Fire Department, a contractor would perform the fire mitigation for any property owner willing to participate while community volunteers would provide the slash removal from the property to the road/street with the mutual goal of our neighborhood reaching and maintaining the status of a Firewise Community.

Charles explained that Aspen trees are not considered for this mitigation and are not considered to contribute to wild fires because of their high moisture content.

There have already been federal grants provided for the KZ Ranch and Deer Creek Valley communities and for quite a bit of the National Forest area around us, now they want to do our community.

This grant would provide mitigation at no cost to the property owner, volunteers are asked to take the slash to designated areas close to a road or street. These piles of slash would later be picked up and chipped.

The forest service is using a $25 per person per man hour to calculate a volunteer basis. The more volunteers we have the more money will be granted.

Property owners will need to request mitigation first; those who do not request this service will not be provided this service. At some point the forest service will assess their property and mark trees that need to go, and the property owner has final say as to which trees are to be mitigated. If the owner has a favorite tree that they do not want cut, the forest service will not cut it even though it had been marked.

As the deadline to commit to this grant proposal is April 1st, Jeff De Berry (Vice President) and Charles Banks (President) decided to go ahead and commit to providing 10% of the cost of mitigating our community in volunteer man hours. John Van Doren, president of KZ Ranch Association, said it was not difficult to provide up to 40%.

Mitigation will continue until it is done, most of KZ Ranch is done, but is still continuing even with this new grant proposal. Project for KZ Ranch has been worked on for 2 to 3 years, with 5 acre properties taking more time.

During mitigation, and upon request from property owners, any trees cut will be blocked, but not split, for fire wood while the slash will be chipped later.

Mitigation will be done on a first come first served basis; in the order in which property owners sign up to request mitigation. We are requesting you put in as much volunteer time as you can for those unable to volunteer due to physical restrictions and with the benefit for the community as a whole in mind.

Fire mitigation suggestions are at least 15 feet from any structures, not the trunk, but any limbs. The Fire Department, during a wild fire, will look at the houses that can be saved. Having mitigation done will give your house a better chance. They assess each property; color coded red, yellow, green. You can ask the fire department what color designation your property has. The State Forest Service representative said it might be easier to get property insurance, rates may go gown, if we become a firewise community.

Comments were made on current mitigation expenses privately paid; $300-400 per tree, and $1,800 for slash removal only.

Charles asked for a vote, whether an ECHPOA member or not, to as whether the community should participate in this program, even though he and Jeff have already made the commitment. There were 20 people in attendance and all 20 agreed to go forward with it.

Look for more details as to how and when to sign up. This is a win-win situation! Mitigation at no cost to the property owner, only volunteer man hours, and our community is safer from spreading wild fires.

Meeting ended at 3:00 pm.

To view the 2 handouts provided at the meeting, click on the following titles:

1.  Protecting Your Home from Wildfire:  Creating Wildfire-Defensible Zones

2.  Fuel Break Guidelines for Forested Subdivisions & Communities


Special Meeting Called for Saturday

special announcementI am calling a special meeting of all ECHPOA members and non-members on Saturday March 28, at 2:00 PM, in the Association Building, 86 Elk Creek Drive, Bailey, CO 80421.

I know this is a very short notice, but I feel the importance of the subject outweighs the inconvenience. The deadline for our response to this is April 1st, which is also the date of our regular meeting. Discussion of the subject at the meeting would be too late to take advantage of this opportunity.

Jeff DeBerry and I met on Thursday morning with Kyle McCatty of the Colorado State Forest Service and representatives of the Platt Canyon Fire Dept. This, also, was a short notice meeting, but well worth it.

There is a sizeable Federal grant available for fire mitigation in our entire area. This means that a property owner could get mitigation done on their property with NO OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSE.  The only cost to anyone would be in the form of volunteer labor to do the grunt work of dragging slash to the huge chipper and help with cleanup of the property.

Jeff and I committed to provide 10% of the cost of mitigation through volunteer hours. We were assured that 10% would not be a difficult goal and that it would, more than likely, be exceeded easily.

I strongly urge everyone to attend and learn more about this fantastic opportunity. Please notify everyone you can and assure them that membership in ECHPOA is not required to take advantage of the free Federal money being made available to everyone within our boundaries.

Charles Banks, ECHPOA President, 303-838-4070.

Pie Day or Pi Day?

piFor those of us who were never really good at math, yesterday was Pi Day!  Maybe if my high school would have let us eat Pie every year on March 14th, I would have been better at math!  Yesterday was even more special as the numeric date was 3-14-15 which is also the first 5 digits of Pi.  This will not happen again for another 100 years!  The real math enthusiasts went as far as celebrating at 9:26 and 53 seconds, both a.m. and p.m., as that represented the first 10 digits of Pi.

Pi is the number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle, (distance around the edge),  by its diameter, (straight line through the center), and it will be the same infinite number you come up with no matter what size circle you measure.  Now you know!  Pi is 3.141592653…..!

Isn’t it fitting that yesterday was also AlbertEinsteinAlbert Einstein’s birthday?  He was born on March 14, 1879.  Albert Einstein “developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics”…..very smart!

To learn more about Pi Day, go to the CBS News website and read the article called “Saturday is a very special Pi Day – here’s why,” at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pi-day-3-14-2015.

To learn more about Albert Einstein, go to the Wikipedia website at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein.

Crows Leave Gifts

CrowHard to believe that was 3 years ago next month that I posted an article on how intelligent crows are.  If you want to see the amazing video online about crows that I had referred to, go to TED Talks and watch “Joshua Klein on the intelligence of crows” at:


Last week I again saw an amazing video online about crows that have been leaving gifts for an 8-year-old girl who has been feeding them for years.  These gifts include items such as shiny trinkets, polished rocks, buttons, and beads.  If you want to see this video, go to the following link, presented by AOL, published by Huff Post Live on March 6, 2015 called “Crows leave gifts for kind-hearted girl who feeds them“:


I, for one, am absolutely fascinated by these birds!

Getting Back on Track

Colorado Snowpack Map 3-6-2015

My Valentine’s Day wish for more snow has been granted over the past few weeks!  Even though the Colorado snowpack level statewide dropped from 94% in January to 92% as of March 6th, it has come up considerably from our dry February levels.  Levels are now again better than both 2012 and 2013, but still well below 2014.  Hopefully March will continue the tradition of being the “snowiest” month of the year for Colorado and help prevent low pond levels and a dry fire season!

Colorado Snowpack Graph 3-6-2015

Daylight Saving Time – TONIGHT

It is time again to “spring forward” by an hour!  Clock

The official time change happens this weekend at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, moving the clocks “forward” to 3 a.m.  For those of us who won’t be awake, we can either set our clocks “forward” an hour before we go to bed Saturday night, March 7th, or in the morning on Sunday, March 8th.  Even though we will be losing an hour of our day, either an hour of sleep or less time for breakfast, we will have an extra hour of sunlight since the sunset will be an hour later!

5 myths about daylight saving time:

1. Daylight saving time was meant to help farmers.  FALSE – The lost of an hour in the morning meant farmers had to rush their crops to market, and dairy farmers found that cows have difficulty in adjusting to the new schedule.

2. The extra daylight makes us healthier and happier.  FALSE – It is true that we get vitamin D from sunshine, but some researchers believe that the disruption in sleep cycles causes an increase in accidents, suicide and headaches.

3. It helps us conserve energy.  FALSE – Having more daylight hours might give us more time to do things outside, but the extra evening heat has also lead to an increase in air-conditioners usage when staying home and gasoline if you drive somewhere.

4. Daylight saving time benefits businesses.  FALSE – Although more daylight in the evening does help a few industries such as BBQ grills, charcoal, and candy sales for Halloween, it also means less households watching the early evening TV programs, and airlines and trains have to juggle their schedules for that extra hour or loss of an hour.

5. Standard time is standard.  FALSE – We are on daylight saving time 8 months out of 12.  Only 4 months of the year are we on standard time.

You can read more about the 5 myths about daylight saving time by going to The Washington Post website.