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CORRECTION NOTICE: The City of Salida’s Dec. 19 work session packet provided five photos without attribution related to the presentation titled “Nature-Based Solutions For Wildfire Mitigation”. All five photos remain on the City of Salida website for this meeting, but Ark Valley Voice has removed the two it used from the city packet for this article and from the Ark Valley Voice media library.

Both came to us contained in the presentation. Neither the city agenda nor the full packet listed the presenter’s name or agency thus, the photo captions attributed them to the City of Salida as the source.

The Salida City Council will conduct its next work session at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19 in City Council Chambers.

Extraordinary Teen Council (ETC) Update

Addressing the youth perspective on council matters that have direct impact on them, members of the ETC are considering involvement with both the Salida City Council Sustainability Committee and the Parks, Recreation Open Space and Trails (PROST) Board.

They plan to report on a meeting with Solvista Health about a suicide prevention grant and teen mental health in general. On the transportation front, the ETC is seeking input from Neighbor To Neighbor “Chaffee Shuttle” for teen rides and funding support for such a program.

Nature-Based Solutions For Wildfire Mitigation

A presentation is planned that describes a collaborative, nature-based approach that seeks to increase the effectiveness of Envision Chaffee County’s “Methodist Front fuel breaks” near Poncha Springs, in the area of County Road 115, Hot Springs Road, Pinyon Lane and U.S. Highway 285, all on the city properties.

The proposal objective states: “As evidenced by the Boulder County fire that burned over 1,000 homes in December 2021, grasslands and brushes are highly combustible and capable of carrying fire rapidly across the landscape; therefore, it is critical to incorporate their management into a comprehensive fire-mitigation plan.”

Program planned partners may include:

  • Elements Mountain Compost, established 2014, Salida, Colorado
  • Beyond Organic, established 2012
  • Farm 146, Salida, Colorado
  • Science by Design, established 2018, Durango, Colorado
  • Clovers Habitat Landscape Design, established in 2006; Poncha Springs, Colorado
  • Terra Firma Forestry, established 2003; Poncha Springs, Colorado
  • Matthew Coen, goat farming; Salida, Colorado
  • GARNA, volunteer efforts and education, Salida, Colorado
  • Colorado Headwaters, 501(c)(3) nonprofit; Salida, Colorado

The project with a proposed budget of $183,700 seeks to use wood-chip mulch, fungi and other biomass to accelerate decomposition, improve moisture, reduce invasive weeds, and build soil, among other techniques to reduce the risk of lighter weight “fine” fuels. A financial “ask” beyond volunteer labor was not made clear in the council packet.

Short-Term Rentals (STR) Update

Image Courtesy YourHub/Denver Post

Salida Deputy City Clerk, Sara Law will present an overview of the current Salida STR licenses by area. Licenses in the residential area are currently maxed out at 80 — with a waitlist.

According to the city, there is room for growth primarily in the C-2/Historic Downtown and U.S. 50 areas.

Other Agenda Items

  • Members of the council expect to interview Dan Bush, an applicant for an alternate position on the Salida Planning Commission
  • The 2022 Tree Board report is scheduled to be given by Marilyn Moore, President

Work Session meetings are open to the public and participants may choose to attend in person at 448 East First Street, Room 190 or participate virtually via GoToMeeting. To attend the Work Session live, please register at the following link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Work Sessions and Council meetings are recorded and may also be watched in real-time on the City of Salida YouTube Channel.