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Wilderness Ranch
Common Area

WROA Common Area Committee
Common Area Maps
Committee Members
This committee currently has no members. If you are interested in joining this committee, contact a Board member. 
If you wish to cut wood in the Common Area, contact John Kubisiak.
For information about the hazardous fuels mitigation project, contact Carrie Wiss.
(Go to WR Contacts to send a message to John and Carrie via the Common Area e-mail link.)
The Committee's mission is to maintain the health of our forested Common Area in order to control the spread of wildfire and prevent extensive loss due to insects and disease, sustain the natural beauty of our forest and support habitat for our wildlife, and protect the value of our homes by having a forested, not burnt, Common Area.
Current Projects
Hazardous Fuels Mitigation
The Wilderness Area Common Area Committee is currently working on a three-phase project to reduce the risk of damage from wildfire on the Ranch. A fire mitigation and management plan was developed and approved by the Board in 2002. This plan contains reasonable fuel reduction measures that will reduce the risk of spread of fire and allow for ground-based fire fighting equipment to safely suppress wildfires under normal fire weather conditions. It is not intended, nor should it be taken that any plan will work under extreme fire weather conditions. While the main goal of this plan is wildfire hazard reduction, the thinning effort is also effective at preventing extensive loss due to insects or disease.
Phase One was completed in 2003. The main objective of this phase was to thin along the roadways adjacent to our Common Areavto assist with an escape route should there be a fire on the Ranch. We received a Wildland Urban Interface grant from Idaho Department of Lands to assist with the costs associated with this part of the project. It was a success by all measures. As stipulated by the grant, we re-treated the brush that has grown back in some of those areas in 2009.
We encourage private land owners to use this same treatment plan along their roadside property.
Phase Two was completed in 2006. This area was located below the "Middle Road" through the unplatted Common Area, south of Rush Creek road. It has been logged at least once in the past. There were approximately 19 acres that required treatment, and we used a local contractor to commercially thin this area. The committee made a minor profit from this project for the Ranch. However, most of the income went to remove slash cleanup and to refurbish the road.
Phase Three involves approximately 259 acres of an unlogged portion of the Common Area located in the southwest portion of Rush Creek. Because several decades have passed since a fire has burned in the forest at Wilderness Ranch (fire is nature's way of keeping forests healthy), there is now a dangerous combination of an overstocked stand, ladder fuels, beetle-infested trees, and a lot of dead and down material that make this steeply sloped area susceptible to a high-intensity, stand replacing fire that could put every home on the Ranch at risk. Treatment of this area will improve the stand vigor, improve healthy tree growth and species diversity, and make the stand less susceptible to insect and wild fire damage.
The trees that will be removed have been marked by our forestry consultants from Tartar, Stockton, and Petzak (TSP). They carefully selected trees based on our desire to minimize the intensity of a possible fire and improve the forest's health, not necessarily which trees would fare best at market.
We have had to put off the thinning project for some time now due to the downturn of the timber market. We have reviewed several thinning operations, but it appears that due to falling timber prices the only option we have left is a more conventional method. TSP is keeping tabs on the timber market and looking for mills to purchase our trees.
We do not take this endeavor lightly, and while it may appear that we aren't moving quickly enough, we are committed to being stewards of this forest. We are seeking to make the best return on investment and make enough money to cover the project in its entirety, including slash cleanup, roadway refurbishing from the selected contractorís activities, and covering TSP's expenses. It would be ideal if we could make a profit for WROA so funds could be available to continue mitigating fuels along roadways, but money is not the object of this project.
Help for Residents to Reduce Risk from Wildfire
Another aspect of the Common Area Committee is a joint effort with Wilderness Ranch Fire Protection District to focus on mitigating hazardous fuels around residents' homes. Wilderness Ranch was one of the first communities in the country to participate in the Firewise Communities project, which gives us access to information about proven steps we can all take to protect our homes from wildfire. Evaluations of risks around your home are carried out by our Firewise coordinator, Carrie Wiss, upon request. She provides free risk assessments and makes recommendations to assist you with ways to reduce the risk of losing your home to wildfire. For more information about Firewise, click here.
Noxious Weed Control
Your Common Area Committee can assist you with solutions to eradicate noxious weeds on your property.
Click here for information about managing rush skeletonweed.
Click here for information about managing dwarf mistletoe.
Have questions about this committee or its projects? Are you interested in helping with Committee activities and projects? Please contact the Common Area Committee.
Tree Cutting Policy
Ranch residents may cut trees in the Common Area only after permission has been granted by the Common Area Committee.
If you wish to cut trees (standing dead or live), please contact a Common Area Committee member to make an appointment to walk through the area from which trees will be removed and to sign a waiver. That committee member will verify that the area where tree removal is to be done is indeed Common Area and not private property.
The cutting of live trees is restricted to certain times of the year (typically August through April) to prevent the spread of beetles, and all slash from live trees must be removed from the Common Area and disposed of properly.