Co-Sponsored “Chipper Days” Project
One of the Central Wasatch Commission’s seven approved Short Term Projects for the 2020 work season is co-sponsoring “Chipper Days.” A “Chipper Day” is an event where an organization brings a large wood chipper to a community to chip plant matter like trees and branches into small piles of chips so those trees no longer are at risk of being fuel for a wildfire. Over 600 of Utah’s communities are classified as “at-risk” of a wildfire according to the Utah Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands (1). The safety of communities, their inhabitants, and property is a shared responsibility between inhabitants, property owners, developers or associations; and local, county, state, and federal governments. Chipper Days are a great way to remove hazardous fuels to decrease the risk and intensity of wildfire in the project area and to increase the chances of homes and other infrastructure to survive wildfire and reduce wildfire spread.
To assist with the shared responsibility to reduce the hazard of wildfires, the CWC allocated $2,000 to co-sponsor Chipper Days with the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. The woodchipping, cutting, hauling, and other fire mitigation procedures will be conducted by the Division of Forestry, Fire. While the CWC will coordinate public outreach and education on fire safety and fuels management.
Funding from the CWC for this project is associated with outreach materials for the events. Co-sponsored chipper days will happen in the Parley’s Corridor, and Millcreek Canyon.
Why does this matter to the Central Wasatch?
About 600 communities in Utah and their surrounding areas are at risk of wildfire. The Central Wasatch Commission is committed to the preservation of the Central Wasatch Mountains, and part of this stewardship involves protecting inhabitants and surrounding natural areas from wildland fire. Creating “defensible spaces”, or buffer zones between property and surrounding natural areas, is crucial to protecting the safety of mountain communities, recreationists, wildlife, and natural resources that could be affected by wildfire.
How does this project connect to the mission of the Mountain Accord?
Chipper Days in the Central Wasatch will assist in protecting the environment and natural resources, two main tenants outlined in the Mountain Accord Charter.
Written by Quinn Graves
Edited by Lindsey Nielsen