I want to express my deep-felt gratitude to the 114 individuals who got up early last Saturday morning, worked hard all day, and made the brush and wood fuel clearing project at the end of Robie Drive a huge success.

I initially hoped that our team, consisting mainly of volunteers, would be able to cut and chip brush and wood from five or six acres in the project area. The slopes are very steep in this area.

Remarkably, we cleared nine acres and no one got hurt. It was an awe-inspiring day.

We achieved success in this first phase of Project Canyon Safe because of the dedication of a number of individuals and organizations.

Thanks to Bob Snyder for coming up with the original idea and challenging us to carryout what he called “Plan B.” Thanks to the volunteers who serve on the Greater Auburn Area Fire Safe Council for organizing a project that has never been done before.

Scott Liske from the state Department of Parks and Recreation gave us great advice. The leadership and professionalism of Fire Chief Mark D’Ambrogi and the Auburn Fire Department was indispensable and a model for the future.

The crew from the California Conservation Corps was awesome. We are still trying to calculate the incredible volume of brush and wood that was chipped by the crews from Brushbusters Inc. and Bushwackers Inc.

Ten Ameri-Corp volunteers from Colfax came to help us in Auburn because they want to carryout a similar project in their area. Several Auburn residents donated their personal funds to help support the volunteers.

Thanks to the Auburn Journal for articles that fully explained the project. The Auburn Rotary Club served the volunteers the best tasting cheeseburgers known to mankind.

Lastly, I want to thank the 55 volunteers from the Robie neighborhood, other parts of Auburn, Granite Bay, Lincoln and even El Dorado County who gave up their Saturday to work on this project. These men and women are the hardiest volunteers that I have ever seen.

They are another reason why Auburn is a wonderful town and living in the Sierra Foothills is a true blessing.

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Published in the Auburn Journal on 5/27/10