CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
December 11, 2019, 6:30 PM
Mechanics Bank, 1070 Main Street, Cambria
A Quorum was established by attendance of directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, Paul Nugent, JoEllen Butler, Andrea Wogsland, executive director of Greenspace, and Christine Heinrichs. Cambria CSD Director Harry Farmer, CSD board liaison, and Cambria resident Gregory Randall attended.
Public and Director Comments:
Gregory Randall, who recently moved from Hollywood to Cambria, is an urban wildlife ecologist. He recommended iNaturalist for plant and wildlife identification.
JoEllen Butler invited all to the FFRP Songs for the Season event at Fogs End Barn on Saturday, December 14, 2-4:30 pm, $20.
JoEllen reported that the FFRP tree planting event was a success, despite the threat of rain. One woman attended to celebrate her 62nd birthday. Over 300 trees were planted. The event was blessed with a rainbow at both ends of the ranch.
New FFRP executive director Kitty Connolly will move to Cambria from Pasadena in December and take over the position in January. JoEllen will invite Kitty to attend Forest Committee meetings. JoEllen will take a break from community activities after she retires.
Harry Farmer is a candidate for CSD board president at the Thursday board meeting. If he is elected, he would be the first environmentally-oriented board president since Art Van Rhyn three decades ago. He will continue as Forest Committee liaison.
Laura said SLO is planting trees, on Chorro Street and other locations. Paul Nugent will invite a speaker on the subject of urban trees.
Minutes of November Meeting were approved with one amendment.
Treasurers Report: Laura Swartz reported that between directors’ donations to cover insurance brings the account balance to $826.60. Book sales will likely push the balance over $1,000.
Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations: Christine sold four Invasive Weed Guides via social media, Julie Jorgenson has been sick and not able to contact nurseries to sell the books. Andrea will add it to the Greenspace table at the Farmers Market. Sale price $10.
County Permit Reviews: Tree removals need to be mitigated by tree plantings. Andrea sells trees through Greenspace and provides letters attesting to mitigation.
The county has a new code enforcement officer.
The Bookout project, which would have taken down 70 trees, has been denied a permit by the Coastal Commission.
Laura said that a tree died several years after construction of a garage and driveway due to impact. The Forest Committee will look for examples of permeable concrete.
Andrea will forward the county new construction permit referrals to the Forest Committee.
Fuel Reduction Project Guidelines: Andrea has contacted the Forest Management Task Force, chair of the Science Advisory Panel Keith Gilless of the Board of Forestry at UC Berkeley. She will invite him to visit Cambria.
Cambria can work more closely with Cal Fire on tree planting. Alan Peters has said that grant money can be used for tree planting. Andrea said that the contractor is supposed to do an inventory of native plants and flag them before removing dead vegetation.
The Forest Committee will identify a native plant list. Plants such as coffeeberry and toyon are not protected but are significant native vegetation.
Fire Safe Focus Group plans to hold stakeholder meetings. The Land Conservancy should be included, because it holds conservation easements on land in Cambria.
Urban and Community Forest Grants: EcoSLO applied and got one grant. Greenspace has not yet applied.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: next meeting will be in January
Forest Impact Mitigation Measure: Crosby will send materials disputing the EIR statement that buildout of 1,000 homes will have no impact on the forest.
Greenspace / Forest Committee Guidelines Letter: The letter should focus on specific guidelines of what to remove and what to protect.
Public and Director Comments:
Andrea met with Hearst Ranch Manager Ben Higgins. She suggested having a mixer for all the new environmental leaders in the Cambria area.
Andrea reported that she has talked to the senior vice president of an insurance company that insures land trusts. Homeowners who are denied fire insurance have recourse and can file a complaint with state department of insurance.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:21 pm.
Next Meeting January 8, 2020