DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE WORKING GROUP MEETING Thursday, January 5, 2017
LCFSC DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE
WORKING GROUP MEETING
Thursday, January 5, 2017
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 January 5, 2017 at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office, 705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville, California. Attendees were Scott Rosikiewicz, Tony Shaw, Bobette Jones, Ryan Hilburn, Don Hansen, Hugh Parker, Kristy Hoffman via conference call, Bob Andrews, Tom Esgate, Lloyd Keefer, Carol Keefer, Terri Frolli and Cathy Dirden.
- Welcome and Introductions – LCFSC Managing Director Tom opened the meeting welcoming all and asked for introductions.
- National Forest Foundation Capacity Grant Update – Tom reported he filed the first bi-annual report for NFF and we are still using the funds to support the project. It is currently helping with Don Hansen’s work on clearance for the SRA grant. Don stated there are several Timber Harvest Plans in the area, some current and some expired. They have been surveyed for cultural resources, wildlife, etc. and he hopes to utilize those.
- SNC DM USFS NEPA process – Bobette reported the IDT met in mid-December and identified everything that was surveyed and bringing forward these areas for the proposed action. Almost everything was surveyed, though some areas where there was greater than 200’ road buffers that don’t overlap with an existing treatment, mechanical or hand. A few of the random aspen stands as well. They are in the process of finalizing the treatment area and have some working group meetings to finalize the transportation analysis. They will bring forward and finalize fuel and timber models. Then they will make decisions; there are conflicts where they have miss-matched objectives such as maintaining habitat characters vs. treating fuels. They are on track to write the proposed action and release it in March; they put it into the current SOPA (Schedule of Proposed Action) for the quarter. The community will know it’s coming out in March. Bobette stated they may not meet the SNC September application deadline. Once the scope is done with the comments, they will know what NEPA process to use; hoping for Healthy Forest Restoration Act (HFRA). The Forest staff is going through some changes and she is taking on a job with Hat Creek Ranger District but has been allowed to continue on with the DMI project until the action scoping which is the usual end for her involvement. A new Hat Creek Ranger is starting Monday and will determine if Bobette can continue. She doubts she would get pulled and all want her to stay on this project. She took the CFLR Coordinator position, a long term detail involving initiatives for landscape restoration projects. She will be tele-commuting.
Bobette shared that Eileen Carey will be the NEPA writer/editor for the Project. Once the proposed action is complete and scoped, Eileen will come in to help. After responses come in she will help assemble the response comments and start assembling the Environmental Analysis (EA) looking for any issues. Eileen will be starting mid-March to June. She explained the process based on all the alternatives. Eileen will be doing the draft EA. This may be the time of conflict with others; if there are no issues it could be as early as June. The EA will also go out for comments. It’s an unknown until they hear from the public and large environmental groups. If they can use the HFRA it will go faster.
Tom stated the archeologist already did 90% of the area identified for survey; Tom will be helping out with the mapping and GIS work. He will print the map out for Bobette for review that will be incorporated into the archeologists work. This will be done in the next week or two.
- SNC DM Implementation – Tom stated it is primarily on Beaty land. We have advertised for bids, did a show-me tour, and received bids. We only received one mastication bid and two for chipping. Ryan explained SPI is doing a lot of mastication and there are not many contractors that provide the service. Tom stated our bidder/contractor is available and usually only works around power lines. He stated all prices were much higher than expected. The chipping bids were based on what was anticipated for per ton for chips; if they get a different price, it will go up or down. One bidder was $900/acre and the other $550; our target was $400. Tom discussed chip prices with Honey Lake Power. They will allow a special rate bringing the cost to $450 per acre. Tom will be using some FSC funds to backfill since all prices are higher. He will discuss this further with Kristy, it’s not a change in Scope. Tubit Enterprises is the bidder. We have not executed a contract yet; Tom wants to work with SNC to be sure they are okay with the changes. Tom stated he put two separate line items in the application, Chipping and Mastication. He’ll put it all on one line Chipping/Mastication in the future. SNC expects the chipping work to come first and we won’t know how many acres until they complete the work. It may be best to do “either/or”. Kristy suggested a budget amendment, combining and say chipping or mastication.
- CFSC Diamond Mountain Grant – Some advance funds were received today. The work will be all on Beaty managed land, but there may be some acres treated with Western WUI funds as well. Tom also expects to do some of Valdeschini’s property. Tom stated they will have to play it by ear utilizing the different grant funds; the CFSC money has a quicker expiration so this will be done accordingly.
- CFSC WWUI – See above.
- SRA Diamond Mountain Status – Tom brought Scott up to date on what was discussed earlier. Don stated he has more work to be done and will be getting together with Scott to work out the details. Tom hopes to get Cal Fire in there in the spring.
- HLVRCD SNC Grant Awarded. Kristy stated they were awarded the grant for two private properties along Wingfield Road. Tom stated we as well as others wrote a letter of support for their project. We are happy to see the additional project.
- Treatment Funding Discussion.
GHG – Scott heard there was a meeting about funding but doesn’t know the result. They are still trying to make the funding happen.
SNC USFS – Kristy stated they were supposed to have a March 1st round but all the money was gone; their next round will happen September 1st for $7-8 million. Pre applications should be in 6-8 weeks ahead of time for review and allow for time for a site visit. The guidelines will be coming out after the June Board meeting. They are trying to make them clearer. The criteria is the same. Tom will have a couple to put in. Kristy stated there will be one more round after that which will be $5 million. She will know more about that timeline later. Bobette asked if we’ve secured a lead agency yet to do the CEQA. Tom stated we don’t know what the format will be; he’s hoping for an Exemption since he thinks the project will not be any different than any other projects we’ve done in the past. Once the proposed action is released we will have a better feel.
SRA – Opportunities are for private ground that will be in the Diamond Mountain area. With HLVRCD’s success, he doesn’t see another one at this time. They will be doing Nagel and Hulsman properties.
- Other – Tony will update the Board of Supervisors when the SOPA is scheduled. He stated Dave Hays will be providing an update to the Board either on the 17th or the 24th.
Next Meeting – The next meeting will be held at 5:30 pm on Monday, March 6, 2017.