The Grounds Committee involves the two general entrance and waterfront maintenance, organizing fire protection efforts, and noxious weed control within our Association. We depend largely on volunteers for many tasks and encourage everyone to participate. We are proud of our community and we have been successful utilizing volunteers when possible to keep our dues in line. When we have such a project, watch for email messages requesting your assistance. Thank you.
Fire in the western states appears to be a new norm but minimizing the affects by controlling the impact in the cooler forested environment we enjoy gives you (us) a decided advantage over communities on open, hot, windy slopes of cheat grass. We are fortunate to have many resources available to aid in preparation for fire in forest lands versus no preparation efforts to stop grassland fires for communities like those involved in the devastating fires in Chelan and Sleepy Hollow.
We have had numerous successful Fire Safe Community Chipping Programs including spring and fall clean up opportunities. We continue to evaluate the need for additional participation with the Cascadia Soil Conservation and the DNR. Stay tuned for emails announcing future events and action required. Included in our fire improvement objectives are couplers for our existing hydrants and investigations how we can add workable hydrants on Chelan Ridge Road.
Also, we are seeking solutions to fire departments drawing down our PUD storage tank during wild land fire events in our immediate area-goal being to maintain critical levels to fight fires in our development. Our overall objective is to maintain our Fire Safe Community status which requires periodic Cascadia audits by individual properties-expect that will happen again next season.
An on-going project involves collecting ideas to improve the waterfront gates, sidewalk and landscaping. We just completed the repainting of the wood dock, re-staining of the donated picnic table and painting of the under wood dock supports.
The Chelan Fire Chief is suggesting our community follow daily burning restrictions required for burning agricultural piles even for yard waste burning-permits. He is adamantly opposed to burning yard waste within communities like ours. There are designated "free of charge" days to take yard waste to Chelan, tree trimmings can normally be hauled to the recycling center for a fee and needles can be taken to the city dump or left at the curb with your name on it for Zippy's to pickup for $5 per bag.
Even though there are times when the County is allowed to open burn, columns of smoke in our community not only cause issues with neighbors but in the past have caused unnecessary use of resources to investigate. Any questions feel free to call our volunteer fire fighter and Association President on-call: Brian Thompson.
Everyone is always on alert for wildfires in our area. In 2015 lighting storms sparked wildfires including the Carlton Complex fire in the Methow region--one of the worst fire storms in recorded history for Washington.
Although our community is considered at moderate risk due to where we are situated and a good community plan, we are reminded by the DNR that maintaining our plan and following the audits is important to keep us as safe as possible from the unexpected. Please follow corrective measures outlined by the DNR audits and the CRCA Fire and Weed Committee's letters sent out for each lot.
Fire District Commissioners Evaluate Station 75 at Yacht Club
Eight volunteers came forward from the Southshore to help man the new station built next to the Yacht Club -Station 75. If anyone else is interested in volunteering for the new station visit the Fire Station in Chelan and ask about an application in the administration office upstairs.
We are all proud of our volunteers from Chelan Ridge, namely Brian Thompson, for his service in our Association and his help as a volunteer fire fighter. He is on many fire and rescue calls throughout the year and spearheads efforts to manage wild-land fire fuels in our development. We also benefit from his timely communication of events and community actions that affect our development.
Noxious Weed Control
Vegetation Management is a complex issue in a community. Chelan County manages weed spraying on the county roads within our community and they are by far the experts, as they follow a strict regimen of spray programs to establish roadways clean of noxious weeds while maintaining grasses for erosion control. They will generally spray our county roads in the neighborhood twice a year. But we have property within the association like private roads (Chelan Ridge Road, private lanes/drives and Upper Ridge Road) that are not managed by the county. Also, private lots/residences have issues when noxious weeds invade our community. As a rule, everyone does a good job of pulling or spraying out problem weeds on their own property. We have many sources of weed seed to the windward side of our community which are largely under-managed: State highway below us and the B-Line access roadway are two sources the Fire and Weed Committee have identified. The main culprit is Diffuse and Russian Knapweed which is a mandatory control weed for our County.
Knapweed generally grows in recently disturbed, dry soil conditions, grows absent irrigation and provides a food source for many of our native pollinators plus feral western honeybees. Although Russian Knapweed have an attractive purple flower that native bumblebee particularly like, it's our Committee's suggestion that our Association counteract the eradication of the weed with additional flowering plants that are not considered noxious and will service the bumblebee needs as well. For a list of bee friendly plants that you can plant to help the Community bumblebees and other pollinators see below.
Diffuse Knapweed is the only noxious weed to be concerned about.
The EWF committee has started our own volunteer supplemental spray program for common areas not managed by the county and we will be more active in contacting the State to control the noxious weeds on their right- a-ways below us. We have a member with a pesticide certification to purchase and apply herbicide when necessary. In Lieu of noxious weed letters being sent out, we are asking that every property owner do their own site evaluation for noxious weeds. If Knapweed is found, you can do your own control, of course, or contact the committee for volunteers or call a third-party pest control firm.
Western Salify. Been getting a few calls about Western Salify or Goats Beard, which we seem to have a lot of. Interestingly, this weed used to be on the noxious list but is no longer. It’s tough to control with herbicides but doesn't seem to be considered that invasive. It’s a weed that prefers shady areas and pastures. If you were raising cattle it would be worth controlling, it from taking the place of a good pasture grass but otherwise it's not a big issue in our neighborhood. We say, don't be concerned about this one!