Commission action spurs forestry company’s move back to county

The Mesa County Commission made the county more accommodating to forestry-management companies Monday and made it easier for new landowners to subdivide.

Commissioners approved both amendments to the county code unanimously.
One of the amendments came just in time for David Dodd, owner of Enviro Land Management LLC. A year ago, he moved his business out of Mesa County. As of Monday, he’s back and bigger than ever.

“We did move to Delta,” Dodd said. “We moved over here mainly for economics.”

The company’s old location, 767 Valley Court in Grand Junction, was too small, so it took a one-year lease on grounds in Delta that were closer to a wood mill in the county.

“What we needed was a staging area,” he said.

The commission approved of a “forestry-support industry text amendment” that welcomes Dodd’s operation back to Mesa County.

Without the amendment, Dodd said, he would never have been able to return to Mesa County. The company is now located at 4600 U.S. Highway 50.

The company is used by land managers, such as the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management, and private property owners to clear forests of trees infested by such things as mountain pine beetle. Dodd said government contracts are 60 percent of his business and most of his work is done in the urban interface areas of communities.

Enviro Land Management LLC processes harvested trees by chipping or grinding them and then storing the logs until they can be sent to a mill. Dodd said he needed a bigger area for processing and storage.

On Monday the commission also approved an amendment allowing landowners — both new and old — the ability to divide their land.

The previous provision in the land development code kept new landowners from dividing their land. A person had to own land for a minimum of three years before they were allowed to do a simple land division.

The amendment was intended to preserve agricultural land, said Jon Peacock, county administrator. The changes approved by the commission simply give everyone a level playing field and afford all property owners — regardless of how long they have held the land — the same right to subdivide.

Some people were unable to sell their land for a fair price because of the three-year rule, and developers were unwilling to pay top dollar for land they must sit on for years.

It was a situation Commissioner Janet Rowland had noted and pushed to correct.

After the amendment passed she said she was glad to see the rule changed.


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