CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
July 8, 2020, 6:30 PM
Zoom.com Video Teleconference
The meeting was called to order and a Quorum established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Paul Nugent, Bob Fountain, Greenspace, and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer, CSD president and liaison, David Pierson, CSD director, Kitty Connolly, executive director of Friends of Fiscalini Ranch, Carmen Peterson, FFRP board, Linda Poppenheimer, and Joaquin Quintana, forest technician in Humboldt County, also attended.
Public and Director Comments:
Christine Heinrichs reported confusion about the Fuel Reduction requirements posted in a social media discussion on Nextdoor. Harry Farmer said he would follow up.
Kitty Connolly said that FRP visitors have reported seeing mice on the ranch. They may be voles, which have cyclical population explosions.
Approval Minutes of June Meeting was postponed until August.
Laura Swartz reported the account balance at $983.60. The bank is charging $2 a month for service. Lynn Singer’s bill for accounting and tax reporting services, is expected to be paid in the coming month.
Transfer of Development Credits / Lodge Hill Restoration Program:
The program is not well understood. Crosby continues to provide information as needed.
The CambriaCa Newsletter Articles:
John Rohrbaugh has published an advance for Forest Committee meetings. This free service can be used to publicize other community issues.
CFD Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program:
The program is wrapping up for the 2020 season. Deadline for weed abatement is July 15. All lots not cleared by then will be cleared by the CSD contractor, before September 18.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group
The free Chipping Event on July 6 & 7 reduced excess brush on as many as 45 properties, about 22 tons of waste. A full report will be available at the July Fire Safe Focus Group meeting.
Election of Additional Directors:
The Forest Committee will schedule director elections soon. Bob Fountain demurred from committing to serving as an elected Forest Committee director, due to other commitments. Linda Poppenheimer was invited to serve.
Discussion of Forest Manager Tasks and Qualifications:
Joaquin Quintana, forest technician, earned his degree in forestry at Humboldt State University in 2016. He is completing the required three years of forestry work to qualify to take the Registered Professional Forester exam. He intended to take the April exam, but that was postponed due to Covid. Cambria has not created a position for a Forest Manager, although that was recommended in the Forest Management Plan.
The Cambria Forest Management Plan anticipated the position would be full-time, professional employment by the CSD. Because that position has never been filled, responsibilities have been carried by CSD Facilities & Resources Department, the Cambria Fire Department, FFRP and Greenspace. Activities are not well coordinated. FFRP hired arborist James Allen as a consultant to update the 2014 forest health assessment and the recent fuel reduction project, but that report is not yet available.
A full time professional would be able to see the forest ecologically, managing it for safety and health. Kitty Connolly said that complex issues including soils, disease, understory and climate change require specialized management. FFRP is exploring hiring a Cal Poly graduate student for a more robust comprehensive solution for the Ranch.
Joaquin suggested grant funding for specific projects could lead to permanent management.
In addition to knowledge of the Monterey Pine forest, a candidate would need the interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with Cal Fire and the other organizations which are currently engaged in managing the forest. Understanding local and state laws, ability to work with other agencies, and grant writing skills are important.
Forest Impact Mitigation Measure: The letter will be part of the ongoing permit application for the Emergency Water Supply Project, which has been changed to a Sustainable Water Facility Project for existing and new connections.
Public and Director Comments
Kitty will forward information on the Coastal Cleanup Day, which has been revised this year due to the pandemic. It will be carried out over the last two weeks of September and cleanup at sites other than the coast is welcome. Cleanup kits will be available in August.
The Forest Committee continues to look for additional director candidates.
Linda Poppenheimer suggested making contact with Monterey Pine Forest Watch. Crosby said he will reach out.
Meeting adjourned at 7:43 pm.
Next Meeting August 12, 2020