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Chaceys to receive Tree Farmer of the Year Award

The Colorado State Forest Service will recognize an Archuleta County couple on Aug. 6 with the 2011 Colorado Tree Farmer of the Year Award.

Ron and Windsor Chacey are receiving the award for exceptional multiple-objective management of the 40 forested acres on their property 10 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs.

After a 9 a.m. tour of the property and two other tree farms, Ray Herrmann, Larimer County tree farmer and chair of the Colorado Tree Farm Committee, will present Colorado Tree Farm awards to the Chaceys and other award recipients at a 12:45 p.m. awards ceremony on the Chaceys’ property, located at Divide View Place 1100, Pagosa Springs. State Sen. Ellen Roberts, Rep. J. Paul Brown and Archuleta County commissioners have been invited, and tree farmers from around the state will be in attendance. All area landowners interested in forest management also are encouraged to attend.

Under a long-term management plan developed with the CSFS, the Chaceys are managing the property to produce future forest products; reduce the risk of devastating wildfire, insects and disease; and enhance wildlife habitat. The plan involves thinning even-age stands of ponderosa pine and an understory dense with Gambel oak and choke cherry, leaving primarily older ponderosa pine, clumps of larger oak trees and white firs. Larger logs have been utilized for building materials or firewood.

“By the end of the next decade, we will be well on our way to the kind of forest that we are working toward — a forest that is productive and economically sustainable,” Ron said.

Assistant District Forester Dan Wand of the CSFS Durango District said the Chaceys are active in their community and have served on numerous boards, committees and commissions for various organizations and local government.

“Ron and Windsor have been strong advocates for sustainable forestry and take advantage of any opportunity to engage the public and help other private forest landowners manage their forests,” he said.

The Chaceys also have worked on promoting the Archuleta County Tree Farmers to help expand the American Tree Farm System and bring greater recognition to the benefits that tree farming brings to the community. Eight additional tree farms have since been established in the county.

“We are always looking for ways to inspire and assist other local tree farmers,” Windsor said.

A tree farm is any tract of privately owned land that is voluntarily dedicated by its owner to growing renewable resources, while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of sustainable forestry. The Chaceys became tree farmers in 1996.

Anyone interested in attending the field tour and award luncheon is asked to R.S.V.P. to the CSFS Durango District office at 247-5250. For more information about the Tree Farm Program, go to www.treefarmsystem.org or www.treefarmer.com.

lindsey@pagosasun.com

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