Commissioner Tim Redmond: From wildfire prevention to child care, now is the time to set the direction
Routt County Commissioner
Do you ever wake up at night with your mind racing? The answer to that question is more than likely yes.
These days I am awake several hours before my normal time because of concerning issues that face us. I think about problems such as wildfire, water, housing and child care.
While there doesn’t appear to be a quick fix, we are now aware of the areas of concern and can work toward a solution. I find promise in the way that people are coming together to discuss and plan ways to solve the issues we face as a community. I want to take this opportunity to inform you of some of the issues that I have focused on.
I am deeply concerned with the interconnected forest health situation. Forest health connects to our watershed, wildfires, wildlife and recreation.
I work with professionals from the Colorado State Forest Service and the Routt County Wildfire Council. Take a look at Routt County Wildfire Mitigation Council’s new website at RouttWildfire.org.
The council is hosting its annual conference on April 30 at Colorado Mountain College. This free conference is to promote public awareness and understanding of wildfire risk.
This summer there are plans for some controlled burns in the area and helicopter logging on Mt. Werner. The idea is to be proactive with an updated Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) to ensure we have plans and resources in place before a fire.
The truth is there are challenges we will face in the near future. The possible loss of power generation and coal mines will have implications for the Yampa Valley.
The formation of the Northwest Colorado Development Council gives the region a strong voice at the state and national level. A little background on the NWCDC: It was formed from the Yampa Valley Economic Development Council, which included Moffat and Routt counties, to also include Rio Blanco County and the municipalities.
I am proud to say that NWCDC was one of the first regional development councils to form in the state. Together we have a strong voice and can advocate for the entire northwest region. The 10 partners — Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco, Steamboat, Hayden, Oak Creek, Yampa, Meeker, Rangely and Craig — will each have the opportunity to present a project for their organization.
The NWCDC is also looking to present projects for the region. The regional approach has been viewed favorably by both the State and Federal government. The proof of this is the award of money from the Office of Just Transition and the Department of Local Affairs.
The work ahead must have buy-in from us all. I believe in bottom-up response to local and regional problems. This is our home and future, and now is the time set the direction.
Tim Redmond serves as the Routt County commissioner for District 2.
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