LASSEN COUNTY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL, INC. (LCFSC)
LCFSC DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE
WORKING GROUP MEETING
Monday, May 2, 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 May 2, 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, Karl Todd, Hugh Parker, Steven Anderson, Dave Hays, David Junette, Phil Nemir, Mark Shaffer, Lloyd Keefer, Tom Esgate, and Cathy Dirden.
- Welcome and Introductions – LCFSC Managing Director Tom; opened the meeting, welcomed all and asked for introductions.
- Western WUI Grant Application Update – Scott stated the California Fire Safe Council will hear first on the WWUI grants; Tom agreed that is normal and we will have to submit the application online.
- National Forest Foundation Capacity Grant Update – Tom stated the grant was awarded and the total amount of the grant was received. It cannot be used for anything dealing directly with the Forest Service; it will cover clearance work on the SRA, landowner sign-ups, and publicity such as press releases. Tom attended the NFF’s Collaborative Conference last week in Denver; he stated it was an eye-opener, there was a lot of people in attendance and good information such as Stewardship. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has held 25% of all the Stewardship contracts for the Forest Service. NWTF excels at figuring out how to do grants and are available to assist others. The Good Neighbor Authority is a new program which cuts down the time needed for NEPA to one third or one quarter. Dave stated it probably brings in the right capacity. He stated Oregon, Arizona, the East were all into collaboration projects. Tom stated it was one of the best conferences he’d ever attended. He received a scholarship to attend that covered registration and most of the lodging costs.
- SNC DM USFS NEPA process/pre grant activities – Tom stated there are no more pre grant activities as it is now a grant. Bobette has been busy and Tom has been swamped with grant work, although he is now available to work with Bobette on the agreement. She stated she tried to modify it and submitted it for review; Tom should be hearing from them on any needed modifications. Bobette stated annual reporting was suggested. Tom stated he does have to report back to SNC with six month progress reports. Bobette stated the agreement included Forest Service boilerplate sections. Tom stated early on in the SNC cycle process they learned there will be more opportunities for additional funding which gives us more time. Bobette stated the IDT Team met in March to identify what they needed to do and what they would contract out. They are on track to get all fieldwork done this season; which includes all surveys, detailed treatment prescriptions, and be primed to write the proposed action plan this fall and winter. They prioritized survey areas; the mechanical treatments are the highest priority, followed by hand thinning along the roads for ingress and egress, and strategic hand treatments where they cannot do the mechanical. Additional items would include aspen areas, relocated trails, a road, etc. They are moving ahead with the new Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) there is still additional work to be done on DM and they’ll continue with a newer project of what they could not get done. The Forest Service presented the GNA to a group that Tom missed. Bobette doesn’t expect to have a decision in March but should have it by next September. Tom stated they will do the agreement then work on Eileen Carey’s agreement. With regard to the DMI collaborative public information meeting, it was decided the Forest Service will co-host the meeting, Tony Shaw will check the schedule and cost for Jensen Hall. The meeting will also satisfy the Forest’s need to inform the public of their plans. Tom and Bobette will work out the date, time and location. Tom will work with Karl on maps for a PowerPoint.
- SNC DM Implementation/Discussion on Application Submittal – Tom said Kristy Hoffman/SNC stated it was “likely” we would be funded for the grant. Tom expects to see the agenda in the next couple weeks. Implementation will be primarily on Beaty property. Ryan Hilburn/Beaty will work with Tom to help identify properties. Once we hear on the grant, things will move forward.
SRA Grant Award – Tom stated the SRA grant agreement was signed at the Board meeting, the Board passed the Resolution to approve entering into the agreement. Tom thanked Scott Rosikiewicz for all his help with bureaucratic questions and concerns on the agreement process. Ryan stated the mechanical work must be done first and THP has to be closed out before doing the handwork. The SRA will need CEQA clearance and Scott will assist. Scott stated if it’s all handwork, then a Categorical Exclusion would work. Ryan suggested doing it for the whole corridor. Discussion about the Governor’s Proclamation and high hazard areas and CEQA determination.
- CFSC Diamond Mountain Grant – Tom stated identification of potential properties will wait on the SNC determination.
- Mapping needs – Karl will be available to help complete the CWPP and work with Tom on the mapping needs for the public information meeting.
- Treatment Funding Discussion – Phase II – Future opportunities for funding include The Good Neighbor Authority (GNA), future SNC grant rounds; Green House Gas – Scott stated the last he heard it would be one large amount. Tom stated Cal Fire is looking at the So Eagle Lake and Black Mountain projects as “demonstration projects”. NRCS – Bobette stated that a grazing allotment was allowed to expire. Bobette stated Fredonyer has still an active allotment.
- Other – Tom updated staff on the meeting with the Governor’s staff. He went with the hope to have him take an Ombudsman role however he was unsuccessful. They stated they were hanging onto little things like the Renewal Auction Mechanism with 50 megawatts of energy; they suggested he spend his time at the legislature. Dave Hays stated the Forest has a Legislative office and asked Tom to email him and he’ll send him a contact. Tom told the Governor’s staff he was there representing all agencies not just the FSC. Tom wanted to do a follow-up letter to the Governor signed by those that signed the CWPP MOU. Dave stated there may be other avenues. Tom wanted to have us go on record to tell them how important the Plant is to us; it’s an important infrastructure. Dave Junette stated he would defer to the Cal Fire Director. Eric Ewing may have the ability; he recommended the Director of OES would represent the County. Tom asked them to think about it; we have to keep trying. Bobette suggested contacting the Sierra Forest, they’ve lost their infrastructure and have dead trees lying around with no place to take them. Tony asked if they made mention of Dahle’s Bill – a pilot on the coast for removal of trees of a certain diameter; he’s trying to expand that to get it up to 28” and it’s getting opposed by all the environmental groups and they’re reducing the size of the logs now. He wonders if it’s the environmental groups. Forestry is the highest return for dollar investment for GHG money. Dave Hays will contact Jerry Bird in the Sacramento office for suggestions. Tony suggested finding out who the opposing legislators are and get to them.
- Next Meeting – The next meeting is scheduled for June 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm. Meeting adjourned at 6:34 pm.