LCFSC DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE WORKING GROUP MEETING Monday, September 7, 2016

LASSEN COUNTY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL, INC. (LCFSC)
LCFSC DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE
WORKING GROUP MEETING
Monday, September 7, 2016
Susan River Fire Protection District
705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville, California

The LCFSC Diamond Mountain Initiative meeting was called to order at 5:35 pm on September 7, 2016 at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office, 705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville, California.  Attendees were Scott Rosikiewicz, Tony Shaw, Bobette Jones, Hannah Tangeman, Ryan Hilburn, Don Hansen, Hugh Parker, Kristy Hoffman, Mark Shaffer, Cliff Motheral, Bob Andrews, Tom Esgate, Lloyd Keefer, Carol Keefer, and Cathy Dirden.

I. Welcome and Introductions – LCFSC Managing Director Tom opened the meeting welcoming all.  

Tom gave an update of the Biomass Plant activities.  Legislation has passed that will filter down and help the plant but it takes time.  What needs to happen is for PG&E do contract extensions for Honey Lake Power (HLP) and Burney Forest Power.  Mark Shaffer/HLP stated they still don’t know how the extra 125 mw will be distributed, but expects it will be an auction mechanism.  Tom stated there are discussion going on and political pressure.  He had two meetings at the Governor’s office with the Deputy Secretary for the Resource Agency and Governor’s staff.  He spoke with them back in April as well.  Back then they didn’t fully grasp what was going on with biomass.  He feels they finally got the big picture with the volume that needs to be processed. He stated what really helped was what Chuck Lewis/USFS did along with other agencies by documenting all projects. Chuck provided descriptions that finally convinced them to take a serious look.  Tom expects the Bill to be signed.  The Governor’s staff recommended he also speak with the Public Utilities Commissioner.  Tom traveled to San Francisco and stated it was a good meeting.  The PUC had no idea the volume of projects that are dependent on the outcome.  After seeing the data, it should come into play when they think about Bio RAM auctions.  Assemblyman Dahle was integral to the process of moving the Bill forward.  Mark stated they have not received an extension yet.  Tom stated the City also did a letter focusing on islanding and not having reliable power. Mark stated he saw the results of Tom’s meetings and Dahle’s efforts escalated the response and moved the legislation along.

II. National Forest Foundation Capacity Grant Update – Tom has not been able to get the NFF blog going due to his biomass focus.  

III. SNC DM USFS NEPA Update on process – USFS – Bobette reported surveys are about done and they hold their interdisciplinary team meeting by the end of the month.  They have been working on specifics and not the general concept yet.  Adjustments will be made based on resource concerns; although they are a little behind they are doing well.  They had some problems with modeling but are working them out.  She stated she expects not to need Eileen Carey for another month or two.  The progress report is due by the end of the month; Tom will assist with the progress report form and work with Bobette in a couple weeks to complete the report.  Bobette has been receiving monthly updates of staff hours.  LCFSC – The archeologist should have all the field work completed by the end of next week.  He is reviewing the steep sites and did find a petroglyph and some other items.  Tom helps him with the mapping which should be done the end of October or mid-November.  Tom stated the County Planning Department did a CEQA document in the past and we only need a Categorical Exemption.  Tony advised LCFSC look to Cal Fire or the RCD due to lack of County resources.  Tom stated there is no funding in the budget but will talk with Cal Fire.  Scott asked the relation to the SRA site; Tom stated it is connected.  LCFSC is not a special district of the State and cannot be the Lead Agency.  Tony feels that a simple process would be best; whereas the County’s multiple levels are not easy to navigate.

IV. SNC DM Implementation/Discussion on Application Approval – Tom stated we have all the paperwork in order and just need to be able to biomass removed material.  Ryan agreed; they’re in a holding pattern.

 

V. CFSC Diamond Mountain Grant – Tom asked Ryan what type of agreement is needed for the demo site.  Ryan said the simplest way to handle it is for LCFSC to do the agreement with the contractor.  Tom has a contractor in mind and hopes to have the demo site completed before winter.

 

VI. SRA Diamond Mountain Status – The CEQA work still needs to be completed.  Don stated he needs guidelines as to where the work will be done before he can move forward with field work.  Tom and Don will discuss later.

 

VII. CFSC WWUI – As with the other grants, we need the biomass issue resolved.  He has property owners interested.  Tom stated a new application was submitted by Honey Lake Valley RCD which is on Hannah’s & Nagel’s property.  LCFSC submitted a letter of support for the project.  Hannah stated the application shows they are following their own management strategies so the on the ground work will mirror the rest of the area. An application could go before the December SNC board meeting if there are not issues.  She stated 20 applications were submitted for the $1.5 million in funding. The next round is slated for March 1st.  They will “refresh” the funding in spring after the March round which will be $7 million.

 

VIII. Mapping needs – None at this time.

 

IX. Treatment Funding Discussion – Tom stated we have more than enough funding at this point.

 

X. Other – Hugh asked the status of the Motorway treatment.  Tom stated the demo site will be done so the property owners can see how it will look.  The site is flagged and ready to go hopefully by the end of September or October.  

 

XI. Next Meeting – Tom stated since we’re in a holding pattern with the biomass issues, we will suspend DMI meetings.  The group will be notified of the next meeting when things are worked out.  Meeting adjourned at 6:11 pm.