CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
February 12, 2020, 6:30 PM
Mechanics Bank, 1070 Main Street, Cambria
The meeting was Called to Order by Crosby Swartz at 6:30 pm and a Quorum established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Paul Nugent, Julie Jorgenson, Greenspace executive director Andrea Wogsland, and Christine Heinrichs. CSD liaison Harry Farmer, Greenspace intern Oliver Curley, Cambria resident Greg Randall also attended.
Public and Director Comments
Crosby and Laura reported that they hiked the trails in the new Pismo Preserve and it is beautiful. It offers miles of trails and scenic views.
The CFC web site needs to be updated so that it works better on cell phones. Paul said he can advise on improvements.
An email from Benevity, which allows businesses to make matching donations, gives directions for updating the CFC’s posting. Crosby and Christine will address.
Approve Minutes of January Meeting
Approval of the January Minutes was deferred for further discussion.
The discussion raised issues concerning what laws apply to Cal Fire, under the governor’s executive actions. The orders were intended to expedite tree removal. Andrea checked and determined that Cal Fire is required to abide by local code with regard to tree replacement.
The Monterey Pine Tree Mortality Project mentions the CFC in its section on public participation, but the CFC was not consulted. The consensus was that the CFC needs to approve the use of its name in grant applications if it is to be cited as a collaborator.
Laura Swartz reported the account balance as $1091.60. She paid $118 for the CFC post office box, which is not reflected in that balance.
Invasive Weed Guide Sales: Blake Thorin, park maintenance supervisor for State Parks, Blake.Thorin@parks.ca, 805-927-2016, cell 805-458-1650, is leading a new group of volunteer weed pullers for Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. Manya Brett bought one and Blake accepted two as references for the group.
The Swift house construction permit was withdrawn from the Coastal Commission agenda after a staff report recommended denial.
DRC2020-00005 Kausen permit application for construction of a new dwelling unit and removal of five Monterey Pine trees is in process at the county. Crosby will check on whether NCAC has reviewed it yet.
Grants: CDFA Weed Management, Beautification and Infrastructure grants are available annually. Applications due March 19. They support one-time projects, not continuing maintenance. Keep ideas in mind for next year.
Fire Safe Focus Group has $20,000 available for invasive weed issues. Julie suggested focusing local attention on invasive weeds by publicizing a Weed of the Month. Greenspace features an Invasive Plant Spotlight on its website.
Greg Randall reported seeing people at the Fiscalini Ranch Tipton trailhead coming out of the forest smoking. Signs are not readily visible. He will attend the FFRP meeting to raise the issue. Harry Farmer will report at the CSD meeting. Cigarette butt collection tubes help reduce discarded butts. The Tourism Board may be willing to help fund collection tubes at the hotels. San Simeon CSD can advise on discarded fishing line.
Report from Coastal Regional Prioritization Work Group of the Forest Management Task Force Conference Call:
Contact is Angela Bernheisel, State Forest Manager, RPF #2602, CAL FIRE, San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit, Soquel Demonstration State Forest, 4750 Soquel-San Jose Road, Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 475-8643, www.fire.ca.gov/czu/
Dan Turner said that fuel reduction was only 25 percent completed in Cambria. Bernheisel has hired a scientist to evaluate the effects of the Vegetation Management Plan in Monterey County. It’s possible that the vegetation removal is making fire danger worse.
Participants discussed “cutting the green tape,” suggesting that officials are seeking ways to evade environmental regulations. The Chaparral Institute has sued Cal Fire for destroying habitat while failing to address the issue of flammable homes placed in flammable terrain, the main causes of fire loss. Press release posted here, https://californiachaparralblog.wordpress.com/. Additional material posted here, http://www.californiachaparral.org/helpcalfireeir.html.
Greenspace Tree Planting Project: 27 families have participated in planting 3,000 trees in the State Parks land north of the San Simeon campground. Greenspace members will continue to monitor the trees.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group
A Cal Poly graduate student is conducting a survey in cooperation with the CSD. Greenspace will stay in communication with her.
Harry suggested reviving the possibility of hiring a Forest Manager.
Forest Impact Mitigation Measure: Crosby has a draft of comments on the requirement that growth impacts of the Emergency Water Supply Project on the forest be mitigated. He will confer with Christine to write a final draft.
Best Management Practices Letter: The Big Sur Land Trust has specific prescriptions for fuel reduction projects. Crosby will request Cal Fire’s Best Management Practices document. If Cal Fire does not have one, the CFC will write one, so that all parties have a written document as to what they are working toward.
Public and Director Comments
Andrea said that she will take maternity leave in March, so Oliver Curley will be her deputy at the March meeting and until further notice.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:20 pm.
Next Meeting March 11, 2020