Cody Chamber Closes As Pine Tree Threatens to Fall On It

Cody Chamber Closes As Pine Tree Threatens to Fall On It

Written by on January 13, 2021

After the precautionary evacuation of the chamber due to the massive pine tree’s ominous swaying, the decision was made to remove it Thursday.

By 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, a sign had been placed on the door of the Cody Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center:

Temporarily Closed

Cody Chamber

PCTC Offices

Cody Visitor Center

Temporarily closed due to a pine tree becoming unstable on the west side of the building.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

The tree in question – a massive pine, at least 50 feet high and probably 100 years old at least – is only a few feet from the building. During yesterday’s High Wind Warning, the roots of the pine started lifting several inches out of the ground.

To ensure the protection and its occupants, the tree was anchored to a neighboring tree and Cody City Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities Department cordoned off the area.

Pine Tree at Cody Visitor Center

Tina Hoebelheinrich, Executive Director of the Cody Chamber of Commerce, says this isn’t a surprising development – they’ve been aware of the tree’s inclination for some time.

“It’s been a really windy winter this year,” she said. “About a month ago we noticed that the tree was heaving during strong winds. The edge of the roots would lift about four, eight inches. We determined today- because we can’t control with shifting winds where the tree might land – that it might be in our best interest to get out of the building and if it’s going to do what it’s going to do, at least we’ll be safe.”

Hoebelheinrich says this isn’t the first time this exact scenario has played out. Several years ago, another massive pine tree started to give way at the roots and ultimately fell onto the chamber building in the same spot.

No time (or chance) is being taken. The tree was originally scheduled to come down in March. After evaluating the situation with the Parks Department and a tree removal professional, the decision was made to remove the threatening tree on Thursday.

The chamber should be reopened tomorrow during regular business hours, even while the tree is being removed. Closing the chamber was a necessary precaution, but an inconvenient one.

“We’ve had so many people coming in to buy park passes,” Hoebelheinrich says.  “Normally, the chamber closing wouldn’t be a big deal. But we’ve been selling 50 to 60 state park passes a day. They were late coming in and it’s been a steady stream. So we really want to reach out to those people: everything is going well. We will be open, and they’ll be able to get their parks pass tomorrow.”

Wednesday’s High Wind Warning ends at 11 p.m.

 Hoebelheinrich also confirms that they will not be planting any new trees that close to the Visitor Center. There’s no need to go through this a third time.


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