Fraser officials ax tree-removal ordinance |

Fraser officials ax tree-removal ordinance

Reid Armstrong
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, CO Colorado

The Town of Fraser will not pursue new forest management regulations, after a discussion last week about the progress being made by property owners in town.

The Fraser Board of Trustees had considered imposing requirements along the lines of Grand Lake, compelling homeowners to remove dangerous trees.

Beetle kill and other dead standing trees put the public at risk through blowdown and fire, said Town Manager Jeff Durbin. There is also an aesthetic issue to address, he added.

Town trustees have discussed several incentives in recent months to ease the cost for property owners, such as collective bargaining with logging companies or providing tax credits for tree removal.

Staff had identified several problem areas in town, particularly in the Ptarmigan area behind Safeway, but the cost of a collective bid was so high it required a large subsidy from the town, Durbin said.

“Upon revisiting some of the problem sites recently, we realized that people up there had made some significant progress on their own,” Durbin said.

The mayor and board were struggling with the concept of telling homeowners what to do with their own property, likening it to requiring hurricane victims to clean up their backyards after the storm.

“This is another type of natural disaster,” Durbin said.

With only six properties still needing serious attention, for the time being, the board decided to work with those individuals rather than pass an ordinance that could become a burden to everybody.

“We’d like to add a kudos to all the property owners in the area who have worked so hard to clear trees from their land,” Durbin added. “We are all better off for it.”

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or