LASSEN COUNTY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL, INC. (LCFSC)
LCFSC DIAMOND MOUNTAIN INITIATIVE
WORKING GROUP MEETING
February 5, 2018
Susan River Fire Protection District
705-145 Hwy 395, Johnstonville, California
The LCFSC Diamond Mountain Initiative meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm on February 5, 2018 at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office, 705-145 Hwy 395 in Johnstonville, California. Attendees were Hugh Parker, William Johnson, Bob Andrews, Ted McArthur, Chuck Lewis, Steven Anderson, Kristy Hoffman, Bobette Jones, Ben Goodwin/Acting Forest Public Affair Officer, Hannah Tangeman, Gregg Goddard/Acting District Ranger for Eagle Lake, Terri Frolli, Carol Keefer and Tom Esgate.
- Welcome and Introductions – LCFSC Managing Director Tom opened and welcomed all and asked for introductions. Tom asked Ben to share a little about himself; he is the Range Program Manager from the Freemont Forest in Lakeview, Oregon; he is detailed until the end of April.
- SNC DM USFS NEPA Process
- USFS Activities – The NEPA process has been completed. Gregg admitted he has not seen a project of this scale go through without protests. Ted stated common thread is the cooperation of agencies. Lloyd stated Hannah Tangeman was responsible for organizing the collaborative and getting the Forest Service to move forward. Hannah stated that was 4 years ago. Tom stated this is a major step and there are more activities to continue.
- LCFSC Activities/CEQA RAC/GGRF Application – Lloyd signed the RAC agreement for the CEQA tonight and sent it to Janet Boomgarden/USFS who got a quick turnaround. The next step is the Honey Lake Valley RCD meeting on the 28th; the specialist Tim Keesey will have his report done for approval. Then it goes to the State Clearing House for a number of days, then back for the RCD to sign off. Our goal is to have it done prior to completion of the GHG Concept Paper. Tom doesn’t think there is a lot for the USFS to do on the CEQA other than a form sent to Chuck. Chuck stated he may have questions with the carbon section and can touch base with Tom later but will have it to him a couple days before the deadline of the 28th. Tom stated they are going for a Negative Declaration. He doesn’t anticipate any issues and wants the Final Application to show the CEQA is done. Tom stated Cal Fire hasn’t posted the deadline date yet for the Final; February 26th is the Concept Paper deadline. The next date will be determined when we get the invitation to submit the full application. The funds they have need to be obligated by June 30th and contracts signed as well. Our activities are managing the contractor to make sure it gets done and coordinate with USFS, our biggest challenge is the GHG modeling. Ted stated the Region is going to reach out to Chuck to get a feel for the project; they’ve committed to have someone available to help out; the timing may be a concern. Tom stated the critical person is Eileen Carrey, who worked on the EA and is assisting with the CEQA application. Bobette stated she was to do the modeling initially. Tom stated the problem was with the data; she did the modeling, but the only modeling that worked was for the hand treatments. Discussion regarding the issue; it may be a combination of both modeling and data and the regeneration info also needs to be entered. Tom stated we have from 6 – 7 weeks to work it out. Chuck stated he should be hearing soon. Tom knows he can submit a hand treatment project but wants to gain more points by going for biomass utilization which we couldn’t get in the last time. We will submit it for hand treatment if it doesn’t get worked out, but it’s not what most want to see. We want to see chips going down the road to HLP and producing power. Ted stated it was best to have Eileen to support the Forest, but they want to get someone that can do it eventually. Bobette stated the Region is very supportive of the DM project. She feels we are probably a high priority. Tom confirmed the due date for the Concept Paper is the 21st or 22nd. Elisa Brown/SNC is available to answer any questions before next Tuesday.
- SNC DM Implementation – We are in hibernation right now. Hopefully our contractor can get up there early next year.
- CFSC DM Grant Work – Grant work is shut down.
- SRA DM Status – We had the road graded Friday; crews can still burn but were not able to get there. We have an extension of March 15th to finish up the burning. Cal Fire stated they will complete the burning even if that means next year.
- Honey Lake Valley RCD (HLVRCD) SNC Grant Status – William stated they are discussing the work with the contractor; most of the hand work has been done, they’re still progressing, but it has slowed down. They have a signed contractor that will work adjacent to the project; it’s been approved and set up. He expects it to happen this month. They have the sign and put it on at the corner of Wingfield by the end of the month. Kristy stated they issued an extension to the timeline because they were not able to find mechanical treatment operators for the last season. It’s extended to next December. Tom asked of we can show HLVRCD as a partner on the GHG. William will bring it up at their next meeting.
- Treatment Funding Discussion
SNC USFS – Kristy stated she doesn’t know yet if there is funding remaining from last year. She thinks it will be after SB 5 is voted on in June before they know. If Proposition 68 passes there will be $50 million for SNC; they plan to be ready to go right after that. If the bond passes in November it will be $250 million. Tom stated he doesn’t expect to file another application soon.
SRA – Tom stated Cal Fire is having the same issues as they have with GHG and they’re behind; He believes they have $200 million that needs to be obligated by June and they have not decided how to proceed. The application deadline was September last year and halted.
- Other – Tom offered that without the hard work of Bobette and Chuck Lewis we wouldn’t be where we are. Chuck stated Hannah was behind it as well and it’s nice to see it through. Tom stated the Forest sailed it through with the Forest and District rangers support. They all felt Tom made a big difference as well.
- Next Meeting & Adjournment – The next meeting will be held on Monday, March 5, 2018. Meeting adjourned at 6:11 pm.