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Ag coalition discusses weeds and fire

by Carol Dunn

HUERFANO- Huerfano County’s Ag Coalition met May 5, with the Board of County Commissioners as guests for the luncheon meeting.  County Administrator John Galusha reported that the County is looking into a federal grant that would allow the County to treat noxious weeds from the top of the basin down.  “It won’t happen this year though,” he said.  State law requires that landowners control noxious weeds on their property, and the County is the enforcement authority under that law.  Commissioner Roger Cain told the group that the County has had requests to spray weeds on private property, but it does not have the certified personnel to do the work.  “Our priority is State highways, then County roadways, then private lands,” he said.  Cain added, “We really need to map the weeds.”  He said the existing maps of weed infestations are at least seven years old.

    The Commissioners also talked to the group about procedures for controlled burns, ie. in irrigation ditches.  The Walsenburg and Gardner fire departments have established a procedure which requires one call to the emergency dispatch center (738-1044) to determine if the burn day is a “red flag” day.  The fire department is then on notice that a burn will be taking place.

    Farm Bureau State Board representative Tom Verquer commended the group for pooling its efforts on issues that affect rural landowners.  “Ag groups need to band together,” he said.  Verquer reported that the proposed Colorado legislation to divide the wind rights of a property from the deeded land died in committee, but, “It will come back.”

    Max Vezzani told the group that an advisory committee has developed policies and procedures for renting out the fairgrounds facilities in La Veta.  He said, “The new Fair Board has taken a progressive posture to move forward . . .” with holding new and diverse events at the fairgrounds property.

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