May is Wildfire Awareness Month — What is Northern Colorado Doing to Help?
May is wildfire awareness month and two non-profits are out to protect Northern Colorado.
Northern Colorado Sawyers Group (NOCO SG) and Colorado Addicted Trail Builders Society (CATS) are completely volunteer-run and aren't opposed to getting dirty as they restore land, build trails and promote fire safety through the reduction of natural fire fuels.
NoCo SG Founder, Bob Johnson, told "Tuned in to NoCo" that their motto is "save a forest — cut a tree" and they are doing just that.
"The more thinning we do the better it is for everybody...So that's what we are trying to do with most of the land, to get it fireproofed or at least to get it to where it can be put out faster."
Johnson says they do cut between 20-30 trees a day but you don't have to be an arborist to join.
"We have CEOs in our group, retired police officers, retired navy people — we got all kinds of veterans and youngsters in our group which makes it great."
Though you will need an S-212 certification if you want to operate a chainsaw, Johnson says they have plenty of jobs for those who don't want to get certified.
"We take in anybody. We'll train you up, even if you haven't used a tool before. We always do a safety talk...so you'll get full details on how to use the tools and get out there. Once you're out there, we'll pair you up with one of our veteran trail builders and you'll start learning skills right away."
Johnson says volunteering with NOCO SG and CATS is a great way to learn new skills for free while making a difference in our community.
"Everything is free in both of these groups. You don't have to pay dues. We just want your sweat equity. We want you to get involved. The more you come back the more you learn. It's like a snowball going down a hill. You just pick up more knowledge"
Though they do have overnight projects, if you only have a couple of hours to donate, Johnson says that's more than enough.
"Most of our work is weekday urban events. So you can come out any time... It depends on your schedule. If you get off of work at five and you want to jump in for a couple of hours that's fine — we'll take you any amount of time."
For more information on how to volunteer click here, or to listen to the full interview check out the link below.
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