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Splintered Forest hopes mitigation will help prevent wildfires

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By Daniel Laverty

Brad Huddleston got his start in the tree-removal business when he was in high school — clearing dead trees from his family’s property after the destructive Hi Meadow Fire in 2000.

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“I still remember hearing the firefighters saying they could’ve done more if we had done just a little mitigation work,” Huddleston said.

Huddleston took that experience and turned it into a positive. In 2005, he started Splintered Forest mitigation services and has been joined by siblings Kayla Vella and Kara Huddleston to help run the business.

“We’ve been through this personally,” Brad said. “We all know the value of mitigation.”

Brad said he wanted to start a company that made a difference, helped his neighbors and protected the mountain area he calls home.

“I knew I wanted something different and unique for the company name,” Brad Huddleston said. “When I look at our chippers and see them shooting out splinters, I thought, ‘That’s exactly what we do; we splinter people’s forests.’ ”

Splintered Forest crews have been serving the mountain community for nearly a decade, removing slash, cutting trees and helping create defensible space around mountain homes.

“I really enjoy the crew I’ve assembled,” Huddleston said. “It’s a great group who is concerned and passionate about the mitigation work we do here."

And with a rise in the beetle population and a growing number of destructive wildfires, business has been booming.

“We’ve just gotten too busy,” Huddleston said. “I’m getting tired of booking early and having to turn people away.”

To answer the growing needs of the community, Splintered Forest expanded the business last week by opening a rental shop. Residents can rent professional chippers, saws and other mitigation tools.

“We show everyone how to use the tools and even have instructional videos to watch,” Kayla Huddleston said. “You leave here knowing exactly how to use the equipment, and you don’t have to drive down the hill to get it.”

“We also have weed whackers and other tools,” Brad said. “It’s not all high-dollar stuff, but maybe things you don’t just have sitting in your garage.”

Angela Decordoba used Splintered Forest in 2012 and 2013 to work on her property.

“I had lost approximately 80 to 85 percent of my trees during the Hi Meadow Fire and had been working on clearing the property every year since the fire,” Decordoba said. “However, there remained some very challenging areas which Brad and his team were able to clear for me. I’ll be using them for all my future mitigation work.”

“We understand that many of our clients have lived on their property for 20, 30 or more years,” Brad said. “We are respectful and sensitive to those needs.”

For more information, visit www.splinteredforest.com or call 303-819-9840.
 

Splintered Forest is located at 7001 Highway 73 near Marshdale and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the business is open by appointment only.

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com. Check HighTimberTimes.com for updates and breaking news. Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.