Mountain Folk News
Discount Available on Gate Openers
It’s convenient to be able to open our gate with the push of 1 button from inside your vehicle, especially in bad weather when you would rather not roll your window down. The Board has done some research and located a supplier of remote openers who will give us a $5.00 discount on each opener if we purchase a minimum of 10. The usual cost is $30; so your total cost would come down to $25.00
We’re facing what could be one of the worst wildfire seasons on record. Two areas of special concern for us are 1) the west flank of Duquette Pines, on land administered by the BLM; and 2) trees and brush on our own individual properties.
Several months ago the Board sent a letter to the BLM, asking for their attention to these federal lands.
At our last Board meeting, Boise County wildfire coordinator Jeff Bass said the land in question is already labeled a “critical area” by the BLM. We’re all hopeful the BLM will do some prescribed burning and logging to remedy this serious threat. Letting them know individually certainly can’t hurt the cause!
Jeff Bass walked us through some things we can do as a subdivision to prepare for future fire seasons on our own property. (His county-wide group is meeting regularly and Jim White has graciously volunteered to be our representative at these meetings. Jim has handouts if you need to read up on the issues.)
Jeff says if we can get 90% agreement from the residents of Duquette Pines, that he is convinced we will receive grant money to help us clear brush, thin trees, and reduce the hazardous fuels buildup that threatens us all.
Several communities in Idaho have already received assistance. For example, the Greater Tatkinmah Association near Moscow, Idaho, asked for and received dollars to “perform pruning, pre-commercial thinning, commercial thinning, and fuel ladder disruption projects through vegetation removal...”
Another, God’s Acres Property Owners Organization, near Cascade, Idaho, asked for and received dollars to “remove hazardous fuels and open the forest canopy, in conjunction with efforts by individual property owners to make their property improvements more defensible, so as to change an existing high risk area into an area that can be protected from fire...”
The dollars received in both these instances was well over $100,000. (For more examples of National Fire Plan grants that have been approved in Idaho, you can check out: http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sfa_grants/idaho.html.
So, the Board will be asking for your support in the coming weeks. We intend to do all that we can to lessen the wildfire threats to our community. The Board has contacted our attorney to see if we need to update our Covenants to allow the thinning of trees. We hope to purchase a newer fire truck and to keep it in a centrally located place. We also hope to find dollars for volunteer firefighting training.
As we proceed onward, we will keep the Duquette Pines website updated on our progress: http://home.rmci.net/bjreichert. Bruce Reichert
In the past month on a couple of occasions our gate electronics have malfunctioned, causing the gate to remain closed. Many thanks to those of you who have called from the phone at the gate to let us know! That allows us to get someone to the gate quickly in order to lock it in the upright position until it can be repaired.
However, as everyone knows, the gate has been broken lately much more than a couple of times. In fact it has been hit so hard that it has been shattered into 3 or 4 pieces! Everyone who owns property in Duquette Pines pays for the costs incurred for repairing the gate; both costs of materials, in addition to the labor for someone to do the work. The board has become very frustrated with the frequent breakage, and is looking at a variety of steps that can be taken to stop the intentional damage. We have discussed a range of options from adding chains to the gate board, to activating a camera and then filing charges if we identify who causes the breakage. We would be happy to entertain other ideas as well, if anyone has suggestions.
Of course, the Board would prefer that everyone would be responsible for maintaining the gate in good condition so we would not need to resort to becoming “gate police.” If any of you have suggestions for improving this situation, please contact a Board member.