CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
May 10, 2017, 6:30 PM
Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street
A Quorum was established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Connie Gannon, JoEllen Butler, and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer, CCSD liaison, Tony Church of NCAC, Jeff Kwasny, and Laurel Stewart also attended.
Public Comment and Questions:
Tony Church noted that the County has incorrect information on the letter it sent extending the streamlined procedure for permits to remove hazardous trees. The tree replacement requirements apply only to Monterey Pine and Coast Live Oaks, not all trees, in the ratio of 4:1 for Monterey Pine and 6:1 for oaks. He will write to the county informing them of the error. Crosby will write a letter on behalf of the Forest Committee.
Minutes of the April Meeting were approved with amendments.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported no changes, balance $3,208.76. Lynn Singer charged $135 to review the tax filing. Laura sent the completed letter and tax records regarding nonprofit status to the state Board of Equalization.
Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations: Connie reported that nine people attended Greenspace’s Saturday morning Native Plants for Vegetation Workers workshop. Mike Rice demonstrated techniques by clearing one lot. Rick Hawley took us around another lot that was not yet cleared, showing examples of native plants that should not be weed-whacked. One vegetation worker, a friend of Rick’s, translated for those who needed it. Five people were certified and will have their names added to the Fire Department’s list of certified vegetation workers. Fire Fighter Michael Castellonos attended. Greenspace will reproduce the native plants flyer and advise people to ask for the list at the fire station.
CFC Directors Mailing List: Crosby and Christine continue to work on updating the list.
Invasive Weed Guide Funding: Laura and Christine will approach the county Fire Safe Council for additional funding.
County Permit Referral Package: The Forest Committee is still not receiving County Planning application packages. Laurel Stewart reported that Winsor Construction has applied for a lot line adjustment to allow it to sell a parcel of 41 acres. the county is disinclined to create parcels smaller than the required 320 acres minimum ag parcel, but this site is steep and would make the contiguous site over 400 acres. The prospective buyer has a cabin there and has sunk a well. He is a tree surgeon and has been good to the oaks there.
PG&E Work Refusal Letter: Connie Gannon reported that Bruce Fosdike reported at the Fire Safe Focus Group that although PG&E has rescinded their order to remove one of his trees, he would like the entire opinion retracted. He will continue to work with them on it and report to the Forest Committee.
Sudden Oak Death Field Sampling: SOD Blitz training and sampling will be done May 11-14.
Forest Health Program Grant Status: The concept paper was not invited to advance to the full application level. This involves the biomass cogenerator plant. Fire Safe Council Business Manager Dan Turner will report at Fire Safe Focus Group.
Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan: The updated LHMP, including the Health District, has been completed and is being circulated. Public forum for discussion scheduled for May 30.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Connie reported that Bruce Fosdike has a $500 grant for community involvement for which he has no project. She suggested getting volunteers together to pull french broom on Bridge Street. CCC crews are fully occupied in the Sierras for the rest of the year and are not available for weed work in Cambria. Weeds are very bad this year, with thistles ready to bloom and spread their seed. Heads need to be cut and bagged now. Weeds should be disposed of in greenwaste containers, no plastic bags. Kathe Tanner, reporter for The Cambrian, has had her hours reduced and will no longer cover public meetings. Connie will write a Letter to the Editor to The Cambrian about the weeds. Christine will send her photos.
BRC Map: Laura is coloring a map to illustrate lots currently retired, lots under conservation easement and lots on the Water Wait List that may be developed. She and Crosby are working with the Buildout Reduction Committee. Members discussed the issues. Water Wait List owners claim they want to build their Dream Home, but then build a house and sell it for profit. Many positions on the Water Wait List are held by people who already live in Cambria and real estate professionals who bought the lots on speculation. Houses being built are much bigger than houses built in the past. The lot at Bay and Chester has been sold. Reports say that the new owners are environmentally conscious and the hope is that they will build something good for the community.
Site Visit: Laurel invited the members to join her and the NCAC Land Use Committee for a site visit to the Fiscalini Ranch section from which 175 eucalyptus trees will be removed. The application includes saplings, young trees, large older trees and 39 very large older trees.
Spring in Cambria: Harry Farmer is hearing migratory songbirds in Strawberry Canyon. Laura and Connie noted that there are more crows, possibly filling the ecological niche formerly occupied by jays.
Smartphone Invasive Weed Application: Christine has not heard back from What’s Invasive, which is managed by the University of Georgia. She will pursue creating a page on iNaturalist.
Sarah Bisbing‘s presentation is being rescheduled.
Agenda Items for Next Meeting: Contact Crosby with agenda items.
Adjourned at 8:37 pm.