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Kent Grant (left) presents a Firewise Communities/USA plaque to Jim Tencza (right). Pam Wilson (center).

Timberdale Ranch Earns National Recognition for Wildfire Preparedness

Timberdale Ranch recently earned Firewise Communities/USA® recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program due to their efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire.

On Aug, 10, 2013, Kent Grant, CSFS Durango District forester, presented a Firewise Community/USA® plaque to Jim Tencza, Firewise neighborhood ambassador for the Timberdale Ranch Subdivision, at their annual HOA meeting. Pam Wilson, executive director for FireWise of Southwest Colorado, also attended the meeting.

Timberdale Ranch is the third community in the Durango District to earn Firewise Community/USA recognition. The subdivision is located in rural La Plata County in the pine country between Durango and Bayfield. Read more

Patti and Bill Szilva receive the Tree Farmer of the Year Award from Ray Herrmann, Larimer County Tree Farmer and chair of the Colorado Tree Farm Committee (center).

Bayfield Landowners Receive Tree Farmer of the Year Award

On Aug. 3, 2013, the Colorado State Forest Service recognized a La Plata County couple with the 2013 Colorado Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award. Bill and Patti Szilva received the award for exceptional multiple-objective management of their forested property, located northeast of Bayfield.

The recognition event opened with brief presentations by the CSFS, Firewise of Southwest Colorado and the La Plata Conservation District, followed by a tour of the Szilva's property.

Ray Herrmann, Larimer County Tree Farmer and chair of the Colorado Tree Farm Committee, then presented the award to the Szilvas. State Sen. Ellen Roberts (R-Durango), Rep. Mike McLachlan (D-Durango) and La Plata County commissioners were invited and Tree Farmers from around the state attended the ceremony.

“This recognition provides an opportunity to focus public attention on the Tree Farmer as a symbol of good forestry, and encourage other landowners to manage their lands by showing what Tree Farmers can accomplish,” said Dan Wand, assistant district forester for the CSFS Durango District.

The Szilva's managed forest also produces merchantable lumber.

Under a long-term management plan, the Szilvas manage their property using forest stewardship practices, with specific emphasis on wildfire mitigation, sustainable wood harvesting, utilization of forest products and community activism.

Wand says the Szilvas have transformed 40 acres of dense, stagnated ponderosa pine and Gambel oak woodland into an attractive and productive forest more resilient to insects, disease and wildfire.

The Szilvas' property became certified in the American Tree Farm System®, which is a program of the American Forest Foundation, in 2005.

“As a private forest landowner, there is an opportunity to improve the health and safety of our forest for us and our neighbors, but it can be an overwhelming task,” said Bill Szilva. “The Tree Farm Program provides professional support, interaction from other local Tree Farmers and a structured management plan to achieve our goals efficiently.”

All forest management activities on the property are handled by the Szilvas, from thinning trees and mowing brush to grass seeding and weed control. The property also produces merchantable lumber, with trees of sufficient diameter destined for a portable chainsaw mill and non-merchantable wood and milling scraps fed to a wood boiler system, which is used to heat the home.

Local News

Autumn Yellowing of Conifer Needles a Normal Process
(Colorado State Forest Service News Release 09/04/13)
DURANGO, Colo. – Although thousands of evergreen trees in the foothills of southwest Colorado are beginning to display dying yellow or orange needles, many are simply going through a natural shedding process – and are not infested by bark beetles or tree disease.

Southwest Colorado Community Earns National Recognition for Wildfire Preparedness
(FireWise of Southwest Colorado News Release 08/12/13)
Timberdale Ranch recently earned Firewise Communities/USA® recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program due to their efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire.

The Biggest of its Kind: Durango's Black Locust Tree Named a State Champion
(Durango Herald 01/21/12)
Durango, already home to the state's largest known specimen of three tree species, has learned it harbors the biggest black locust in Colorado.

Drought, Wildfire Threaten the Ecological Balance
(Durango Herald 08/20/11)
When the Missionary Ridge Fire in 2002 burned more than 70,000 acres, 57 homes and came within a mile of the city's water intake on the Florida River, it was a wake-up call to local officials what a threat wildfire poses to area rivers.

Chaceys to Receive Tree Farmer of the Year Award
(Pagosa Sun 08/04/11)
The Colorado State Forest Service will recognize an Archuleta County couple on Aug. 6 with the 2011 Colorado Tree Farmer of the Year Award.

Keep Fire at Bay
(Durango Herald 05/18/11)
As the region moves into the most dangerous time of the year for wildfire, authorities are urging residents to take all possible measures to protect themselves.

Saplings – Human and Arboreal – Reach Toward the Future
(Durango Herald 04/24/11)
An accolade elm sapling is sitting in its root ball in a hole dug the previous evening on the north side of Needham Elementary School. Peter Schertz, a Needham parent and admitted tree-lover, stands near the elm among a group of a couple dozen third-graders and asks: “What do trees provide for us?”

Southwest Colorado Community Earns National Recognition for Wildfire Preparedness
(Pagosa Springs Journal 01/18/11)
Because of its efforts to reduce the vulnerability of homes and landscapes to wildfire, Deer Valley Estates has earned Firewise Communities/USA® recognition from the National Firewise Communities Program.

Local Events

Tree farmers awarded at the August 2011 Tree Farm meeting.

 

Tree farmers awarded at the August 2011 Tree Farm meeting.

 

 

 

 

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