CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
6:30 pm, Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street
A Quorum was established by directors in attendance: Crosby and Laura Swartz, Connie Gannon, Julie Jorgenson, JoEllen Butler, and Christine Heinrichs. Nancy Anderson, Tony Church, Dewayne and Joy Lee, Imkelina Nicolai, Amanda Rice, and Laurel Stewart also attended.
Minutes of the September Meeting were approved as amended.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported no changes to the bank accounts: $2,149.98, total of which $495.13 is the remainder of the Community Council grant.
Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations: Community Council Grant Application. Laura submitted a grant application to the Cambria Community Council for the Invasive Weeds brochure. Christine Heinrichs is compiling the information for the brochure. They will create a sample for the presentation November 14, 5 pm at Santa Rosa Church. Christine has also found two website/apps for citizen science on invasive weeds: iNaturalist, http://www.inaturalist.org/places/cambria, and What’s Invasive, http://www.whatsinvasive.org/index.cfm. She will pursue setting up accounts on those sites.
Website Report: The domain name has not yet been transferred. Amanda Rice believes it has been done. Christine and Amanda will pursue that.
At Home in the Forest Brochure Distribution: Christine will post as downloadable copy to the website. Connie and JoEllen took more to distribute.
County Permit Referral Packages Not Received: Laurel Stewart is forwarding copies of the county applications from NCAC, since the Forest Committee no longer receives them. Crosby will pursue restoring the connection with the county. Tony Church reported that only one application for construction on Kenneth affects trees and that has carefully preserved the mature oak on the lot and will replace the single tree removed with six seedlings. A major project at Ragged Point will be presented at the next NCAC meeting, Wednesday October 19, 6:30 pm at Rabobank.
Connie does not have any way to track whether those who are required to plant trees for mitigation follow through. NCAC has their recommendations on file but the county has the final word. She will follow up.
Dr Piirto Presentation to Cambria Lions Club: Crosby and Laura Swartz attended. Dr. Piirto gave an inspirational talk encouraging the Lions Club to save the forest. The Forest Committee and Greenspace will invite him to be a speaker in the future. The Historic Guide Association has invited Sarah Bisbing and Mike Walgren to speak to their January meeting about the section of the forest on Hearst property.
Endangered Species Status for Monterey Pines: Julie Jorgenson will pursue a contact she has at the Sierra Club to learn what has been done in the past and how the process can be pursued in the future.
Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Fuel Reduction and Forest Restoration Project: The work is completed. Piles of chips will be spread in a work day Saturday, October 15, 9-noon. Meet at the Trenton trailhead.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Connie Gannon reported that two chipping days have been scheduled, December 1 and 2. The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan has been contracted to Cat 5 Professional Consultants and they will begin work on it soon. Dan Turner said that test plots will be established in the Hearst Ranch section of the forest. Another fuel break will be cut on the north side of East Main and up Bridge Street. Fire Safe Council has applied for grant funding of curtain burners, sophisticated incinerators that burn wood more efficiently.
He met with Connie to suggest that Greenspace and the Forest Committee join forces to apply for grants in the Cal Fire Urban Forest Unit under the State Responsibility Area program. Funding is available for specific tasks to get work done in the forest. Grant funding covers four to five year periods. The application has not yet been released. Connie will follow up.
Public comment: Imkelina Nicolai lives near Covell Ranch. She asked about trees cut down and wood left lying on the ground. Connie said that rotting wood will be left on the ground, freshly cut wood will be reclaimed and milled for lumber, and the balance will either be consumed in the biomass cogenerator or burned in the curtain burner. Amanda said that questions have been raised as to how the biomass will be delivered to the cogen plant. Connie said that Alan Peters of Cal Fire will have responsibility for that and it will be covered by the current grant.
CSD Candidates Forum: directors were invited to email questions to Crosby to be asked on behalf of the Forest Committee.
Fire Chief Hollingsworth sent a letter regretting that his schedule has a conflict at the Forest Committee’s meeting time but that he is eager to be involved.
Comment Letter on Draft EIR for Water Supply Project
The previous comment letters regarding the EWS Project are included in the Draft EIR, on the CCSD website. The comment letters are in the section titled “Appendix A Notice of Preparation”. The comment letters start on page 23. Forest Committee page 81. Swartz page 116. Hawley page 122. Heinrichs page 161. Gannon page 163. Webb page 292.
Crosby raised the issue of cost, which is not included in the EIR. “CEQA requires that the public be informed adequately to make a decision,” he said. Laura noted that many of the Wait List positions are in the most heavily forested areas of Cambria. Construction will not only remove trees but will also harm the root systems. Additional infrastructure will also be needed to support increased population. Julie Jorgenson said, “People need to visualize what it will be like.”
Both Crosby and Laura gave public testimony to that effect at the recent public hearing on the EIR.
Discussion about Cambria Community Wildfire Protection Plan: Connie will discuss with Dan Turner the limitations of this document.
Agenda Items and Speaker for Next Month: send suggestions to Crosby.
Adjourned at 8:03 pm