Jefferson County, Colorado Commissioner Dahlkemper Lies at Public Meeting about Logging Old-Growth Trees

At a public “town hall” in Evergreen on Saturday, February 4, Jefferson County Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper falsely told a small group of citizens in attendance and hundreds more via livestream that the county was not logging old-growth trees in Open Space parks, despite photographs of dozens of such logged trees—up to 129-years old—on the table in front of her.

After a full hour of Commissioners Dahlkemper (who also sits on the Colorado Fire Commission) and Andy Kerr, State Senator Lisa Cutter, and State Rep. Brianna Titone listing their accomplishments to the four citizens in attendance, during Q&A Commissioner Kerr refused to allow Evergreen resident and Eco-Integrity Alliance Colorado steering committee member, Josh Schlossberg, to frame and ask his question about the ongoing logging of fire-resistant mature and old-growth trees in Jefferson County Open Space parks. [1]

When Schlossberg requested three minutes to note the clearcutting and logging he’d photographed in JeffCo parks under the guise of “wildfire risk reduction,” he was angrily interrupted by Kerr several times.

When Schlossberg was finally allowed to ask part of his question, namely, whether JeffCo Commissioners would call a moratorium on logging parks until the incident at Elk Meadow Park (3 miles away from where the town hall was being held at the Evergreen Library) was investigated, Dahlkemper falsely stated that “there are no old growth 125 year plus trees that have been cut down,” despite photos in front of her and receiving them via email almost a week prior.

Jefferson County Commissioners refuse to hold a public hearing on the logging or even respond to citizen comments despite an online petition with almost 500 signatures asking them to put a hold on the taxpayer-funded logging in county parkland.

“Not only is Jefferson County clearcutting trails and logging fire-resistant old-growth trees under the phony guise of ‘wildfire risk reduction,’ making wildfires burn hotter and spread faster by opening forests to sun and wind instead of making homes Firewise, not only will our elected officials silence constituents who so much as bring it up in public meetings, but they’re willing to lie on the record about it all, despite photographic proof to the contrary.”

Jefferson County Open Space claims it may be “feasible” to log up to 25,270 acres of forests—39.5 square miles—across 32 public parks and hiking trails, at taxpayer expense. Flying J Ranch Park’s popular hiking trails have already been devastated by 150 acres of clearcuts, with more logging at Meyer Ranch Park, Elk Meadow Park, and every single other county park on the chopping block. [2]

Yet studies—including one from Colorado’s Fourmile Canyon Fire in 2012 and 2002’s Hayman Fire—show that logging forests not only won’t prevent large wildfires but cutting even small trees can make fires burn more severely by drying and heating the forest and spreading flames into communities by opening it to wind. [3][4]

Instead, the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station Fire Sciences Laboratory found that making homes “Firewise”—tending an area no more than 100 feet around structures, installing metal roofs, etc.—is what protects property and lives, with up to 95 percent of treated structures withstanding even the largest fires. [5]

All requests for the recording of the livestream—a public document—have been ignored by Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, Senator Lisa Cutter, and Representative Tammy Story.






Published by eco-integrityalliance

The mission of the Eco-Integrity Alliance is to unite the “alternative” environmental movement under a big tent of ecological integrity through common campaigns of mutual support.

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