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Cordillera

CordilleraCordillera is located in the heart of the Colorado Mountains, west of the ski areas of Vail and Beaver Creek in Eagle County. With elevations ranging from 7,600 feet to 9,600 the community has panoramic views of the Gore and New York Mountain Ranges and is home to a plethora of wildlife including elk, deer, bear and mountain lions, to name a few. The community encompasses roughly 6,000 acres with 40 miles of roads and 550 homes. At full build out there will be 850 homes. Significant amenities include three signature golf courses, the Cordillera Equestrian Center, hiking, Nordic and equestrian trails and the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. The Cordillera Community is serviced by the Cordillera Metro District, the Cordillera Property Owner's Association and the Club at Cordillera.

In 2004 Cordillera formed a wildfire committee made up of homeowners and staff to address the community's growing concerns about wildfire. A wildfire assessment conducted by Anchor Point showed hazard ratings for the community ranged from low to extreme. Vegetation types are varied---from sagebrush and oak brush to lodgepole pine and Douglas fir. At higher elevations there is sub-alpine fir and spruce. In a short amount of time other ecosystem concerns arose, signaling the need for the committee to evaluate environmental issues as a whole. Hence, the name of the committee was changed to the Wildfire and Healthy Forest Committee. Cordillera is committed to preserving the environment as well as its wildland/urban interface.

The summer of 2005 was a big summer. After the assessment and planning, it was time to go to work. Summer projects included fuels mitigation, emergency exits, and emergency water supplies. The homeowners association conducted many large community projects to mitigate fuels below homes located along ridgelines. One project reduced fuels under one of the main overhead power lines. Two access projects helped to establish secondary emergency exits. The Glenwood Springs Office of the Bureau of Land Management made one of the emergency exit projects possible by granting a management agreement to cross BLM land using an old jeep trail. Cordillera was able to tap into a golf course irrigation system as an emergency water supply since that system is capable of moving large volumes of water and is totally separate from the domestic water systems.

CordilleraOne of the biggest challenges has been to merge Firewise practices with the community's design guidelines for building homes. The Committee recognized that it was time to establish new roofing requirements and took steps to prohibit the cedar shake roofs that were once required. Over time, the Committee has worked with the Cordillera Design Review Board to merge many of the community's design guidelines for landscaping with Firewise practices.

In addition to Cordillera's community projects, the Association has been encouraging property owners to prepare their defensible space and conducted several Community Clean Up days where the Metro District made special rounds to pick up property owners' clean-up debris.

The summer of 2006 will bring new challenges as the community responds to its first significant onslaught of mountain pine beetle. Approximately 2500 trees infested with mountain pine beetle will be removed and a similar number of other lodgepole pine will be thinned as recommended by Colorado State Forestry in order to prepare the forest for future beetle activity.