Noxious weeds prompt action by Pitkin County |

Noxious weeds prompt action by Pitkin County

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Pitkin County will seek a court order to apply herbicides to noxious weeds on private property in the Old Snowmass area after attempts to reach the landowner were unsuccessful.

The parcel, owned by Jan Christensen in Shield O Mesa, is heavily infested with several varieties of noxious weed ” hoary cress, plumeless thistle, Canada thistle, musk thistle and houndstongue, according to Crystal Yates White, county land manager.

Property taxes on Christensen’s land have gone unpaid and certified mail from the county to his mailing address in Salt Lake City has been returned as undeliverable, county commissioners were told Wednesday. County officials aren’t sure whether or not Christensen is alive.

This is the first time the county has sought a court order to enforce weed laws on private property, said John Ely, county attorney.

Commissioner Michael Owsley objected to what he called a “Draconian” action, urging officials to try harder to make contact with Christensen.

“I’m still of the opinion that it’s too drastic a step,” he said.

Owsley was outvoted, 3-1, with Commissioner Patti Clapper absent.

“I have no problem with this enforcement action,” said Commissioner Jack Hatfield. “It’s very unfair to the neighbors ” what has occurred here.”