BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado: Breckenridge passed an ordinance requiring residents to thin vegetation around their homes because of a recent infestation of mountain pine beetles; making the surrounding forest vulnerable to fires. Some residents said that they aren't bothered by the new law and "if cutting these trees saves my life or my wife's life or a firefighter's life, then it's worth it." Others, however, said that the new law is an encroachment on resident's rights and will reduce property values. Councilman Dave Rossi said that the new law is certainly a change from the town's focus. In the past, said Rossi, the town has encouraged landscaping. "I sympathize with people who don't want to cut trees. I'm a tree hugger," Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said. "But what I don't buy is the argument that the government can't tell me what to do on my property even if it saves lives and the property of my neighbors." Rossi, however, added that although he supports the thinning of vegetation, he's not sure the ordinance will be very effective.
* Environment, Colorado