Residents complete petition to save trees |

Residents complete petition to save trees

by Susie Vasquez
Staff Writer

The buildings and trees on the old Stodick Ranch will be removed to make way for development, but a group of Douglas County residents would like to save at least one tree, a huge cottonwood closest to Toler Road.

Minden resident Barbara Havens presented a petition objecting to the removal of the trees at Thursday’s county commissioner meeting. Addressed to H&S Construction, the petition bore 278 signatures gathered since the effort began just a week ago.

“We, the people and friends of Carson Valley implore you to spare the trees on the eastern portion of the Stodick property on Toler Road and Elges Avenue,” the petition said. “One is identified as the oldest cottonwood in the Valley and one is the largest. All the trees are magnificent and have provided habitat and shelter for Carson Valley’s famed raptors and countless small animals on which the raptors fee


Debbie Quatrochi, one of the organizers of this effort, said she knew rancher Lester Stodick, the previous owner of this property.

A Minden rancher all of his life, Stodick died Oct. 25,1991, at the age of 86.

“I used to buy hay from him. He was still loading hay when he was 84 and he loved that property,” she said. “That cottonwood was his favorite tree. He’d be rolling over in his grave if he knew what was happening.”

Quatrochi, who has lived in Douglas County for 26 years, said Toler Road was once designed to circumvent the tree.

Stodick Estates may have been condoned through the proper county channels, but she feels residents were not informed with respect to the fate of the trees, she said.

“I never thought this would happen,” she said. “I should have paid closer attention.”

Randy Harris of H&S Construction said 700 to 1,200 new trees will be planted in the new development, but that will require a lot of water, Quatrochi argued.

“These old cottonwoods are established. They don’t need to be watered,” she said. “Who needs 700 new trees?”

Barbara Havens said the hawks and owls displaced by the removal of these trees will not be able to nest in the saplings.

The niece of long-time Douglas County rancher Cecil Stodieck, Havens said the tree is well over 100 years old. She lives on Elges Street and a piece of history is dying, along with the view.

“Developers go through and flatten everything,” she said. “My interest in this issue is aesthetic, environmental and historic. I hate to see it happen to this beautiful valley.

Stodick Estates will be enclosed, further blocking whatever view might be left, Havens said.

“I can sit and look at a brick wall anywhere,” she said.

Removal of the trees is imminent and will be handled by Estabrook Tree Works, she said.

n Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 213.