CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
February 13, 2019, 6:30 PM Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street
The meeting was called to order and a Quorum established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler of FFRP, Julie Jorgenson, and Christine Heinrichs. Also in attendance were Harry Farmer, CCSD liaison, Donn Howell, CCSD director, Brad Seek, director emeritus, and Cambrians Tori and Linda Poppenheimer.
Public and Director Comments: Linda Poppenheimer said she read notice in the paper about Rick Hawley’s talk at the January meeting After attending his talk, she bought 20 seedlings and wrote this blog post, https://greengroundswell.com/mother-nature-needs-our-help-lets-plant-trees/2019/02/11/.
Christine Heinrichs reported that she attended the Eco SLO Networking event in January. Over 75 groups are working on various environmental issues. Although the meeting is in SLO at 7:30 am, it was well worth attending. She will send details of the next meeting, March 13, as they are posted.
FFRP will hold a Ranch walk with Cal Fire speaker Alan Peters February 16, weather permitting. Call 927-2202 to reserve a spot, limit 25 people. The annual Wildflower Show will be April 13-14. Americorps volunteers will do a project for the Ranch.
Minutes of January Meeting were approved with one change.
Treasurer’s Report: Account balance $1,221.04. Rick’s talk brought in $117. All grant money has been spent. Directors should keep projects in mind for next year’s Cambria Community Council grant application.
Website Domain Name Renewal: Paul Nugent will report at the March meeting.
Fuel Reduction in Protected Forest Areas: Crosby and Laura Swartz have discussed enforcement of those regulations on lots under conservation protection. Wetlands are protected under separate regulations, as addressed in Section 4, Forest Treatment Prescriptions and Techniques, of the Cambria Forest Management Plan, http://cambriaforestcommittee.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Cambria_Forest_Management_Plan_4_02.pdf Governor Gavin Newsom has promised $1 billion in grants for forest health. The focus is on fire danger.
CFD has applied for a grant to remove invasive vegetation from the canyon along Burton Drive.
County Log Removal Requirements: JoEllen expressed concern that Cal Fire will prohibit leaving downed trees lying on the forest floor. Alan Peters of Cal Fire responded to an email inquiry that CFD is responsible for policy in Cambria, but that state law PRC 4291 specifies that “dead fuel of any kind increases the fire hazard and should be removed from the ‘lean/green’ 30′ zone immediately around buildings.” JoEllen will continue to pursue the question.
Discuss Greenspace / Forest Committee Letter:
Crosby felt the draft letter regarding Dead Tree Removal was too general. Cal Fire works under the Forest Practice Act, writing a Timber Harvest Plan rather than a CEQA Environmental Review to guide their project. He requested directors compare the Forest Practice Act and the Cambria Forest Management Plan for items that do not apply to Cambria.
The Forest Practice Act and Rules can be accessed at www.calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt_forestpractice. Select 2019 Forest Practice Rules and Act under Forest Practice More Info. Interesting sections include Fuelbreak / Defensible Space on page 55, Harvesting Practices and Erosion Control on page 64, Wildlife Protection Practices on page 112, and Coastal Commission Special Treatment Areas on page 119.
CCSD Fire Dept Defensible Space Program: The Cambria Fire Department and Cal Fire continue to discuss transferring Cal Fire’s responsibility for inspection of developed lots to the CFD. Cal Fire doesn’t have enough men and money to inspect lots, and its enforcement power is weak, with a maximum $100 fine. CFD has a Weed Abatement Program for undeveloped lots and better enforcement capability. CFD can hire contractors to perform work and bill the lot owner. CFD would need additional funding to take on the additional responsibility. Transferring authority to enforce can raise legal questions. The subject will be on the Fire Safe Focus Group agenda.
Agenda Items for Next Meeting
Beautify Cambria Association: BCA president Claudia Harmon Worthen will present the Dark Skies Initiative and a possible landscaping project at the March 13 meeting. Laura will contact.
Public and Director Comments: Crosby will distribute information on the FFRP docent walk. Christine Heinrichs will attend the Fire Safe Focus Group meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 7:42 pm.
Next Meeting March 13, 2019