The LCFSC Diamond Mountain Initiative meeting was called to order at 6:01 pm on June 5, 2017 at the Susan River Fire Protection District Office, 705-145 Hwy 395 in Johnstonville, California. Attendees were Don Hansen, Ryan Hilburn, Phil Nemir, William Johnson, Bobette Jones, Hannah Tangeman, Mark Shaffer, Hugh Parker, Tom Esgate, Lloyd Keefer, Terri Frolli, Cathy Dirden, and Carol Keefer.
I. Welcome and Introductions – LCFSC Managing Director Tom opened and asked for introductions.
II. National Forest Foundation (NFF) Capacity Grant Update – Tom stated we are using NFF funds to support Don Hansen’s work and he will submit another press release.
III. SNC DM USFS NEPA Process
USFS Activities – Bobette updated the Action Plan went out for scoping on May 15th and the comment period will end 21st. Once comments are reviewed they will know more. Staff are currently in survey season which will delay it somewhat; they expect the Effects Analysis won’t go in until late September. Estimated timeframe for the Decision is December if all goes well. The team feels they can get the Analysis done by September and that’s when they will start Eileen Carey, contractor for LCFSC. Bobette and the Council gave kudos to the IDT Team. Bobette stated Comments will be reviewed for significant issues, and a response prepared. Under HFRA they don’t have to respond, but it’s a process they go through. They will drive a third alternative for the interim owls in case that comes into effect during the NEPA process. She expects this will be the biggest response due to thinning in owl corridors. She may need to ask why we won’t use alternative treatments, but does not expect they would be concerned. Treatment will be either biomass or pile burning. Terri encouraged private landowners to submit positive comments which show the positive aspects of the project. Comments can be submitted via email.
LCFSC / GHG Activities – Tom stated LCFSC’s Concept Paper was approved and we will submit a full proposal for the new GHG funding of $4.6 million. He and Lloyd met with Dave Hays, Forest Supervisor, who had concerns about going forward. Tom presented the benefits; Dave was concerned about something not going well and we would be disappointed in the Forest; Tom told him we would only be disappointed if the Forest didn’t go forward. We have a year to complete the NEPA but Cal Fire favors projects having NEPA complete. Tom stated LCFSC has a great partnership team between the agencies and private landowners which should look good. Tom hopes to hear from Dave by the end of the week. The deadline for the full application is June 30th.
IV. SNC DM Implementation – Ryan reported he has been very busy; he has Bob working on contracts. Tom stated if there is an area that is not biomass, he’d like to get the contractor in to begin work if possible. Tom hopes to biomass as much as possible which fits with SNC wish.
V. CFSC DM Grant – See above.
VI. CFSC WWUI – See above.
VII. SRA DM Status – Tom and Don Hansen met with Cal Fire last week; Don did some flagging and crews are ready to start on a section of contiguous landowners for 1 ¼ miles going east. He hopes to get the lagers on board once they can see project progress. Tom stated there is a potential to request an extension on SRA. He hopes to make a good enough case with Cal Fire. We also have $75,000 in funding for the Cal Fire crews at $200 per acre, that is a lot of time, but going into the fire season will really slow them down.
VIII. Honey Lake Valley RCD SNC Grant Awarded. Phil Nemir stated he’s looking at Friday to have an operator working; they want to close out the THP. Phil should have an RFP out for bids soon. He stated the fuel work layout will be completed this week and the prescription ready by the end of the month; then it will go out to bids for both hand work and mechanical. Tom will give him contact information for our Little Valley contractor, Jose Gutierrez.
IX. Treatment Funding Discussion.
SNC USFS – SNC is still an option; but not this year.
SRA – There will be another round coming up as well.
X. Other – None.
XI. Next Meeting & Adjournment – The next meeting will be announced. Meeting adjourned at 6:28 pm.