DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE WORKING GROUP MEETING Monday, January 4, 2016

The LCFSC Diamond Mountain Initiative meeting was called to order at 5:33 pm on January 4, 2016 at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office, 705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville, California.  Attendees were Hugh Parker, Don Hansen, Lorraine Forester-Hansen, Dave Junette, Bobette Jones, Lloyd Keefer, Carol Keefer, Steven Anderson, Karl Todd, Mark Shaffer, Ryan Hilburn, Scott Rosikewicz, Kristy Hoffman, Tom Esgate, and Cathy Dirden.

  1. Welcome and Introductions LCFSC Managing Director Tom Esgate opened the meeting, welcomed all and asked for introductions.  
  2. Western WUI Grant Application Update Tom stated it was “likely” to be funded, so based on past timeframes we won’t hear until May or June.  CFSC usually administrators the grant. 
  3. National Forest Foundation Capacity Grant Update Tom stated the grant is for $24,000.  It was crafted to be specific to this initiative. If funded, it may free funds in the budget for more surveys and less admin.  Tom should hear something in a couple months.
  4. SNC DM USFS NEPA Process 

    Pre Grant Award Activities – Tom stated the SNC USFS NEPA grant was approved and we should receive the grant agreement shortly. Tom requested it be accelerated. Tom will start putting together an agreement for Eileen Carey’s assistance as soon as possible.  Bobette stated a Memorandum of Understanding should also be done for the Forest and LCFSC stating the roles.  Cathy will send Bobette a copy of the CWPP MOU to use as a sample. Tom expressed a need to have a meeting to discuss access.  Ryan Hilburn stated he got together with Bobette; they were able to figure out some potential access areas.Post Grant Award Activities – Bobette’s current timeline is to have a detailed map for surveys by the end of February with all proposed actions, which will then be given to the specialists.  They will in turn advise their time needs and where the holes are.  They are looking at March to know where the holes are and that can’t be expedited.  Tom received notification that our partnered Green House Gas project with Pit RCD/Modoc National Forest and Beaty had been selected which amounts to over $600,000 in treatments for the Forest Service.  If this gets done it will be our first action on Forest Service land.  A request for funding will be made as soon as the agreement is signed.  There will be a 10% withhold at the end of the project but the other funding can be distributed during the project.  They discussed contractors, when work can begin and what can be done prior to that.  Tom’s goal is to overachieve and complete the project in advance so that in March 2017 we can reapply for additional funding.

  5. SNC DM Implementation/Discussion on Application Improvement
    Tom stated we were not funded in the last round but were encouraged to resubmit our application.  He feels it was because we didn’t have enough emphasis on water and the Prop 1 initiative requirements based on water has gotten tighter.  The two biggest items are water and public benefit.  Ryan also emphasized that the funding is derived from Prop 1 and they needed to have that connection.  He feels it’s a fairly easy connection to make and he will work with Tom, Bobette, Kristi and Eileen.  Tom would like to get a letter of support from the Lassen Irrigation District; he will reach out to Hannah and any other water related entities.  Kristi stated if he follows the bulleted items from SNC we should be successful.  She will review the application when ready.  Tom would like a review at the pre-application stage and hope for comments.  His goal by the next meeting to be ready for pre-application submittal.  Tom and Ryan will work together regarding “public benefit”.
  6. SRA Grant Application
    Tom stated the LCFSC Board decided to do two applications: Diamond Mountain and Little Valley.  He made the SRA grant a Cal Fire/Antelope Camp project along the Motorway through Beaty and adjacent properties up to branch by Gold Run. Of $100,000, $80,000 will go towards crew work which can be carried out to February 2018. Dave Junette agreed it was a good project.  Tom stated there may be a need for chipping. Ryan cautioned sequencing it right with regards to THPs.  Tom identified the different treatment areas within the project area. He expects to stay within 200’ on either side of the roadway.  Hugh was concerned about ground slipping over the roadway, turnarounds and passing sites.  Dave stated crews would not take it down to bare soil; Beaty is on board with turnarounds and passing sites, but concerned about adjacent property owners.  Tom stated the Council will be in contact with adjacent landowners.Tom asked Don Hansen if he was current on Archeological training.  Don stated he would have to take the training.  Tom stated for the SRA projects, in lieu of archeology, we can now go back to RPF because a Cal Fire person is overseeing it.  Don will look into it.

    Tom brought up the Biomass concern with closures of plants.  He contacted Assemblyman Brian Dahle to press him to help out.  If we don’t have biomass it will cost more using Cal Fire crews.  There was a discussion 6 months ago about having a biomass summit to discuss the issues.  It comes down to the PUC and PG&E. Dave expressed his concern with bug kills and ember concerns.  Tom’s concern is that the issues are not getting communicated to the State level.  Tom will address the concern in the application. Mark Shaffer will help him out.  Mark stated they’re starting to lose capability with trucks, people are not willing to invest in carb-legal changes. This needs to be a long term fix like a multi-year agreement from PG&E.

  7. CFSC Diamond Mountain Grant
    For the SNC project, Beaty property is the best fit; with one landowner issues are more manageable.  We have $450,000 and hopefully the SRA grant; we’ll hold until the next SNC round decisions, which will be in May or June.  Kristi stated the SNC meeting will be in Lassen County and asked for input on possible venue and field trip. The group discussed options; Mark suggested a Honey Lake Power visit.  If the SNC grant is approved in June, Kristi stated it will be 30 to 60 days before the agreement arrives.
  8. Mapping Needs – Karl Todd stated he didn’t have any. 
  9. Treatment Funding Discussion – Phase III 

    Green House Gas – Tom talked previously about GHG for Diamond Mountain.  Our project at the south end of Eagle Lake which is entirely Beaty property.  SRA – Previously discussed.

  10. Other – Bobette stated they want to do a public meeting to discuss the planned intention.  She is hoping for a collaborative meeting with LCFSC.  She’s looking at either a meeting only or one with a field trip or both.  Tom stated we are willing to do whatever.  Bobette stated she’s shoot for a mid-June combo meeting with field trip.
  11. Next Meeting – The next meeting is scheduled for February 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm. Meeting adjourned at 6:30 pm.