FIRE SAFETY AND FOREST MANAGEMENT
There are no funds for a free chipper program this year. You can still get qualifying yard waste chipped for a very reasonable price by signing up with BVRI by August 27. Here's how it will work: BVRI will give the signup sheet to Sean Hammes. He will survey each property's pile and give an estimate. There is no obligation for you to agree to participate, although you will have to find another way to dispose of your brush and branch pile if you don't want Sean to chip it. If you sign up, you will be sent instructions on how to stack the pile and what materials are acceptable or not (no nails, no pine needles, no dirt, no rocks - basically branches and brush).
The base rate is $65 for a 3 cubic yard pile. That's a brush pile 9 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet high. Bigger piles are more, of course. The resulting chips will be put in your yard. Chipping is an environmentally benign way of getting rid of brush while leaving the chips to reduce erosion and nourish the soil.
You have other options for disposal of yard waste.
1. You can burn it in your yard. Contact the BV Fire Department (209-753-2321) for a burn permit and information on how to do it legally and safely.
2. You can pay the following people to haul it (these people will also do the whole cleanup for you): Joe Zibley, 753-2492; Sean Hammes, 588-9350; Mike Ratkowski, 795-4366; Erich Haas, 795-4331; Jason Comfort, 728-2152. Of these, Hammes and Ratkowski are licensed, bonded, and insured chainsaw operators. If you have a tree that needs to be topped or dropped in a sensitive area (danger of hitting a house, power lines, etc.), Hammes is experienced and equipped. Ratkowski is an experienced chainsaw operator who can handle most jobs. The other people on the list can probably handle your routine chainsaw work.
3. You can haul it yourself to the Red Hill Transfer Station between Murphys and Angels Camp. Take along proof that you are a Bear Valley property owner: a tax bill, driver's registration with a BV address, etc.
4. You can haul qualifying material to Calaveras Forest Products, a private operator in Camp Connell who turns it into mulch. They charge $6 per cubic yard. Their phone number is 795-6500. Their website is www.ccsolidwaste.org/Yard_waste.htm.
5. You can rent a bin from Bear Valley Disposal, put the yard waste in it, and they will haul it away. A 3 cubic yard bin is $108; $92 if all contents are yard waste. Their number is 795-1532.
TO SIGN UP FOR A CHIPPER ESTIMATE
Send your name, Bear Valley property address or lot number, and your phone number, email address, or U.S.P.O. address so we can get back to you. Signing up does not commit you to paying for chipping; it only gets you an estimate so you can decide whether you want to participate. Email to email@example.com or mail to BVRI, Box 5145, Bear Valley CA 95223.
This year, as in years past, the BVRI inspectors will be looking at all lots in Bear Valley. They will be starting the inspections on August 4 so that gives you a full month and a half to clean up your lot. In particular, they will be looking for the following:
burnable material such as dead branches and/or pine cones on the ground
pine needles on the ground within five feet of your home
any branches on tall trees within six feet of the ground
dead branches within six feet of the ground on short trees
dead trees on the lot
tree limbs within 10 feet of your chimney
a spark arrestor on your chimney
Please keep in mind that even though you cleaned up your lot last summer, it needs to be cleaned up again this summer. In particular, dead branches fall off trees in the winter and must be cleaned up. Also, trees die and must be removed.
Current state law states that all lots must be cleared within 100 feet (or up to the property line) of a home. What this means is that for most lots in Bear Valley, the entire lot must be cleaned up.
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