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We are following Fire Wise recommendations.
Here is the information from the Firewise Rep:
My recommendation would be to work from fence lines bordering the greenbelt areas outward, for at least the first 50 feet. The simplest and most cost-effective strategy for the budget you have would be to create a shaded fuel break. Shaded fuel breaks are strategic blocks of land where the vegetation is modified in a way to diminish the rate of spread of a wildfire and prevent fire from rising into the crown of the tree through ladder fuels.
By limbing up lower tree branches in the range of 4-6 ft off the ground (or 1/3 trees total height) you can reduce the risk of larger flame lengths and more embers coming toward houses, and create more defensible space. I’m attaching an example photo of native juniper, elm, and oak that have been limbed up (think of a forest that you can walk through easily). For disposal of cut branches the best method is chipping and broadcasting the mulch on the landscape, or piling the mulch in one spot where it can be picked up. When cutting oak branches, please immediately use an arborist wood seal paint to cover cuts.
With prevailing south/sw winds in the summer, and the most continuous vegetation also being in those areas, your main area of concern for beginning treatment should be the western and southern most perimeters of West Cypress Hills, Properties on the west side of Rock Wren, the area to the west of the elementary school, and south of the new construction occurring now. There is also some risk on the east side as well, but looking at an aerial view it seems to be more sparsely populated with fuels due to the caliche soil.
I get what you’re saying. As a volunteer at Austin Animal Center, I walk 40-60 dogs a week, and in the past, have helped with dog playgroups. Running a playgroup where dogs get together and play requires training and skills. Dog body language and temperaments are hugely important and only those with experience or training can manage issues that arise safely. Safely is the keyword.
Another thing to note is that if anyone boards their dog(s) at a facility that runs playgroups, all dogs are required to be evaluated first before they can even board. There is a reason for this. The dogs are usually evaluated by experienced and skilled people who understand dog body language and temperaments. Dogs are like people in that they don’t have to like every creature of the same species that they meet. A dog-friendly dog to many dogs can all of a sudden really dislike a new dog they just met for a variety of reasons (play style, body language only dogs can read, etc)
I say all this to show that getting many dogs together to play sounds fun (it truly does- I enjoy watching playgroups at the shelter), but most humans that bring their dogs to these parks are not trained to see when another dog is stressed or uncomfortable, and also not trained to properly break up a dog fight.
I might be sounding too serious or making too big of a deal about this, but it’s all fun and games until a dog fight erupts and a human gets bitten from improperly trying to break it up. It won’t be an “if it happens” situation, it will be a “when”. I cannot support a situation where the safety of animals and humans is at risk. A good read: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/smarter-living/the-dog-park-is-bad-actually.html . Thank you for hearing me out. Dogs are my life.
We provide water and sewer services to customers. We must use taxpayer money to maintain our infrastructure.
What can we do to fix the loss of remote visibility in the future?
Charles is going to work on a bid, if possible.
A few notes we should point out when getting bids. I can point these out to Todd. Please let me know if we should add more.
1) 50 ft. behind homes on WCID land. Leaving good trees, but limbing them up 6-8 feet. Discourage running through greenbelts with big machinery tearing down trees that would be good to keep. That is the cheapest option, but will leave greenbelts barren. Pruning is important and a priority.
2) Break the bid up by sections if needed. Take large bids and break down into halves or quarters if possible.
3) Mulch and leave mulch in place behind greenbelts, spread evenly.
4) Some lots have 2 “greenbelts”-1 behind and 1 on the side. Check all fence lines and focus on those.
Already written in bid from Todd:
*50′ setback from fence
*Remove trees that present a fire hazard
*Limb up trees
*Remove shrubs that present a fire hazard
Just asked the District’s attorney about insurance. Any contractor who does work for the District needs to have liability insurance and worker’s comp. Can you pass that along to Charles?
We can’t have more than two of us there. I would prefer to be there if that’s okay Rick
It’s supposed to rain all day Friday… Keep that in mind. I can also meet tonight Thursday
Happy to hear what he proposes. Let me know the time.
When we met with the landscaper to discuss this bid, he brought along his arborist, who helps Lakeway with their Firewise program. That bid also includes some machinery as there is some hilly terrain. I suggest that we meet at the Waste Water Treatment plant so I can show you an example of the terrain and where bigger machinery is probably needed. It is about 355 greenbelts. Just sharing info that is important to any bid.
He is a one man company with one trailer, so it will take much longer than our landscaper’s bid of 40 days.