It seems as if almost every day this Fall you could drive through the Fraser Valley and see a large pillow of smoke going up into the sky. First thoughts go to forest fires or house fires…both of which, we do not need! But, it’s actually a “clear” sign of property owners throughout Grand County taking care of their land and hopefully preventing a devastating forest fire one day. The Winter Park Ski Resort should be applauded for it’s efforts on Forest Management. They have been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, year after year, to keep their forest healthy and preserve the ski resort appeal. Other large land owners, like Rendezvous (owned by Koelbel out of Denver) have also been excellent examples for us. Rendezvous has put themselves ahead of the “re-growth” curve and have spent incredible amounts of money to ensure of Fraser Valley has a greener future sooner than later. The Town of Winter Park has also been a leader in Forest Management efforts – spending well over $500,000 annually on forestry crews and working with private home/land owners to get the Town cleaned up and fire safe. This natural progression of our forest does not seem so natural when the beetle kill is so devastating, but the efforts to clean up, clear out and get the new growth started should certainly be recognized and applauded. Living in a “Resort Community”, our image is everything, and I truly believe the citizens of Grand County, the Town Governments and the larger land holders/developers have all stepped-in, stepped-up and made this County more safe (and a little better looking) for us all. SO, next time you see that big cloud of smoke, don’t say “who the heck is burning again”, just say “thanks”.