I am writing to ask that Agriculture Secretary John Salazar, or his designee, assist with eradicating noxious weeds in my neighborhood. I request that the Department of Agriculture 1) initiate an eradication effort and/or 2) investigate and enforce civil penalties per CRS 35-5.5-118 against Jefferson County officials responsible for continued inaction.
I live in Evergreen in an unincorporated portion of Jefferson County. There is a severe noxious weed presence in my neighborhood and in my local open space park. The infestation includes adjacent properties to mine and creeps onto my property. About two years ago I began to look seriously into the problem. Efforts to eradicate the problem through local government (Jefferson County) have been completely fruitless; the problem appears to be getting worse. I have also communicated extensively with Steve Ryder, Eric Lane, and Patty York of your department; Ms. York has been to my home and neighborhood and has documented the problem.
Key e-mails and photographs are posted here.
The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners has failed to “adopt a noxious weed management plan” as required by CRS 35-5.5-105; I, and Agriculture employees, have requested a plan in writing on numerous occasions. Per the e-mail (unsolicited) from Ms. Doran her requirements a) are not confirmed by a written plan from the Board and b) conflict dramatically with eradication procedures required by statute. Put simply, Jefferson County employees are very aware of the problems in my neighborhood and refuse to take eradication and/or other action. Myrtle spurge is a particular problem both on private and public (county) property. Dalmation toadflax is also absolutely taking over the Elk Meadow open space park.
Finally, after numerous requests from me county representatives sprayed the right of ways in my neighborhood close to two years ago; it was ineffective. At my request it was done again about three months ago. Myrtle spurge is still thriving around my home and in my neighborhood. I suggest the county is wasting money: It would be far more efficient to eradicate the weeds as required.
I suggest Alicia Doran (“Jefferson County Weed & Pest”), the Jefferson County Board members, and Ralph Schell, county administrator are all individually culpable in this matter.
As noted, employees of the Agriculture Department are aware of this problem. I had several productive discussions with Ms. York and, approximately two months ago I informed her that I must make additional, escalation efforts. She was to get back to me and that never occurred. Therefore, I am writing to the Agriculture commissioner directly.
I believe this constitutes a viable summary of the situation. Need I include the following? It is dangerous, annoying, costly, time-consuming, unsightly, home value affecting, etc. And this obstinance absolutely conflicts with what other counties/municipalities are doing and what is required by law. Anyway, if further information is needed please contact me.