DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE WORKING GROUP MEETING June 6th, 2016

LASSEN COUNTY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL, INC. (LCFSC)
LCFSC DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE
WORKING GROUP MEETING

Monday, June 6, 2016
Susan River Fire Protection District
705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville, California

The LCFSC Diamond Mountain Initiative meeting was called to order at 5:32 pm on June 6, 2016 at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office, 705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville, California.  Attendees were Scott Rosikiewicz, Tony Shaw, Bobette Jones, Ryan Hilburn, Carol Keefer, Don Hansen, Lorraine Forrester-Hansen, Hugh Parker, David Junette, Don Gordon, Phil Nemir, Mark Shaffer, Kelly Holt, Traci Holt, Adam Matos, Mathew Prentiss, Lloyd Keefer, Tom Esgate, and Cathy Dirden.

  • Welcome and Introductions – LCFSC Managing Director Tom opened the meeting welcoming all and asked for introductions.  Tom welcomed Don Gordon, CF Unit Chief and praised retiring Chief Dave Junette for his active participation with LCFSC.
  • Western WUI Grant Application Update – Notification of the grant award was received from CFSC; the formal grant paperwork was completed; Tom participated in the pre-grant interview last week.  The full grant agreement should be received this week.     
  • National Forest Foundation Capacity Grant Update – We received $24,000 to help with the capacity for 18 months.  Tom put out two press releases working with Joyce El Kouarti. It was also released on SusanvilleStuff.com.  
  • SNC DM USFS NEPA Update on process – Bobette stated Tom and Matt need to work out the final details.  She stated there wasn’t anything new to update, they all have their priorities; most are just starting them and she will be tracking.  Outline for post grant award activities – Tom stated he is working on the grant agreement; all is okay except for one issue.  Tom explained the $50,000 in-kind amount for the Forest stating it was in the Budget.  He stated he hasn’t had a chance to talk to Matt yet about his email.  He explained the need for the Forest to report how they achieved their in-kind contribution. He stated there was a reluctance to put that in the agreement and will see if SNC would allow us to remove the reporting from the agreement.  Tom explained the in-kind would include staff time and overhead which is pretty easy to achieve over the two year term; he suggested softening the language.  He will have a discussion with SNC. He explained “leverage” contribution.  Regardless, he still needs the report. Bobette agreed if its “reporting” and not “binding” it should work.  Tom will talk with SNC for direction.
  • SNC DM Implementation/Discussion on Application Submittal – Tom stated we had great news; the SNC awarded $500,000 bringing the total for the DMI to just over $1 million.  He stated all played a big part in getting this done.  The first step is to have a Tenure agreement finalized between Beaty and SNC.  Ryan stated they are working on it with Jim Branham/SNC; he feels it should be okay.  Tom stated we have 90 days to get the Tenure agreement in place; as soon as it is, we can go to bid.  Our biggest concern is being able to go with biomass; although mastication is in the agreement as a backup.  Tom reminded the group we needed to know the status of the SNC grant before we could determine where we could put the funding. Now that we know and also know how much we can treat on Beaty property, our plan to put both the SNC and CFSC funds on Beaty land.  It appears there is more than enough to do on the Beaty which is key since it abuts Forest land.  The plan was submitted to CFSC to get it cleared and we could be in a position to start whether or not we have the SNC in place.  It could be hand-work, biomass, or other.  Tom stated the THP should be more than enough for CFSC to clear.  The most important part is mapping out which funds are covering which areas.  Ryan stated that wouldn’t be an issue.  SRA Grant award, going forward, roadway treatments – For the SRA grant we have to have CEQA in place; this is the first time we’ve had to have clearance with Cal Fire.  Scott will assist.  The SRA funds are to pay for Cal Fire hand crews using Antelope Camp.  Don stated he needs to know the property owners on board before he can map out where the area for clearance. Cathy stated landowner response has been slow with about 50/50 participation at this point.  She will start personal calls to those that are absentee owners. Even those that were treated previously may opt to have the treatment along the roadway.  For Beaty property, Ryan stated we could hire an outside crew but, we cannot have a Cal Fire crew work in a THP area because it’s a conflict of interest and against Cal Fire regulations.  Ryan would want to be sure all the paperwork is squared away.  Ryan stated he and Mark were discussing the concern that HLP is limited as to what they can take.  Ryan currently has fuel on the ground that needs to be taken to the plant and that’s his first priority.  Discussion of what can be chipped and/or worked by hand crews.  The SRA runs for 2 years and that may allow for hand treatment later after the THP closes. Mark is hoping to go through October receiving loads.  Discussion about the Board of Supervisors letter and other county supervisors writing to the Governor regarding the GHG funds and the possible closure of HLP and impact to the industries.  Cathy will forward the letter to all.
  • CFSC Diamond Mountain Grant – Discussed earlier in the meeting.
  • Mapping needs – Tom talked with Karl about the Public Meeting on Wednesday, June 15th and will provide maps for the meeting.
  • Treatment Funding Discussion – Phase II – No discussion.   GHG – Tom asked what CF may be doing going forward with Green House Gas.  Tom heard that the carbon credit auctions that produce the funds are not doing well; they had one within the last month and there were zero bids. He doesn’t know why the climate has changed. Tom hears that the whole program could collapse. Discussion around how the process works.  SRA – Scotts said he’s monitoring the website.
  • Other – Public Meeting at 6:30, Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the SR FPD.
  • Next Meeting – The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm. Meeting adjourned at 6:21 pm.