Minutes January 2021



Minutes January 2021

January 13, 2021, 6:30 PM

Zoom.com Video Teleconference

The meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm. A Quorum was established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Bob Fountain, Harry Farmer and Christine Heinrichs. Julie Jorgenson joined the meeting in progress. Joaquin Quintana also attended.

Public and Director Comments:

Joaquin Quintana explained how he calculated carbon storage using the Forest Vegetation Simulator, free software available.

Crosby said that directors should encourage supportive colleagues to volunteer as Forest Committee directors. Participation of FFRP is missed. Paul Nugent is moving out of state. Crosby will contact him regarding web site domain name registration.

Minutes of the November and December Meetings were approved as amended. The district continues to approve new construction permit applications despite consistent denials of the permits from the Coastal Commission. Christine will send information on upcoming January 22 county planning department public hearings on Hadian and Bookout permit applications to all directors. The Bookout project would remove 70 Monterey Pine trees.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported the account balance at $752.50. The post office box rental is due by Jan 24, $118. She will make sure it is paid on time.

Sub-Committee Reports


Invasive Vegetation Removal Timing: January is a good time of year to pull invasive weeds such as cape ivy, French broom and radishes. They come out of the moist soil easily. Spraying emerging weed sprouts with 30 percent vinegar is effective. It is available at Los Osos Valley Nursery.

Age of Nature PBS Series Screening: Directors agreed that showing it at a future meeting would be desirable. Christine will assist Crosby in making arrangements to get permission to show it. Bob Fountain is a docent at the NOAA Discovery Center. Michele Roest took over administration of the center and is offering a series of webinars from the National Marine Sanctuary. Christine will place the link on the Forest Committee website.

Transfer of Development Credits / Lodge Hill Restoration Program: Crosby continues to compile documents to assist the CSD with this program.

The CambriaCa Newsletter and Calendar: This online publication published the Forest Committee’s meeting notice last week. The CFC meeting is also included on their calendar. FFRP had an article about a graduate student who is researching understory plants.

Forest Management

     CRPG Projects List: Crosby sent this Excel spreadsheet list, from Angela Bernheisel of Coastal Regional Prioritization Group, to all directors. It shows projects proposed but not yet funded.

Village Lane Project County Waiver: The Fire Safe Focus Group did not offer any further information regarding its claim that the project received a Letter of Exemption from the county rather than a permit for the project. County Fire Safe Council Business Manager Dan Turner said that the project fell under the governor’s Executive Order and did not require a permit. Crosby has not ascertained whether such a letter was sent from any of the contacts he has made at the county. He will follow up inquiring from Supervisor Bruce Gibson as to the Letter of Exemption and the process of allowing projects without permits, and whether public notice, mitigation, and other processes of permitting are required. Bob Fountain will follow up with Greenspace as to requests for seedling trees. Greenspace has historically been the source for tree seedlings planted as mitigation for trees removed.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Crosby and Laura attended. Fire Chief Hollingsworth reported several chimney fires in the last month and recommended that chimneys be inspected. He is working on a Defensible Space ordinance that would allow CFD to inspect improved property. That’s currently the legal responsibility of Cal Fire, which is unable to address the problems adequately.

Invasive brush that has been removed is piled and ready to burn, awaiting weather conditions and Cal Fire personnel.

The proposed state budget includes some funding for forest resilience and other forest-related issues. Some funding may be made available soon.

CFD is struggling to meet staffing requirements. Reserve firefighters stay only briefly in Cambria as they move on to full-time positions.

Dan Turner is involved with the WUI Institute at Cal Poly, where he is working to get the subject recognized as an area of study.

The Wildfire Preparedness Day, usually held in May, may be postponed until fall due to the pandemic.

No New Business

Unfinished Business

            List of Tasks for Forest Management Consultant: Directors are asked to submit suggestions to Crosby for tasks that a forest ecologist could undertake without delay. Treatment of beetles on Fiscalini Ranch and chemical treatment of dwarf mistletoe are two that don’t require the expertise of a Registered Professional Forester. Bob Fountain will ask Greenspace board members to contribute ideas at their annual retreat.

Public and Director Comments: Crosby suggested that directors submit ideas for 2021, in addition to continuing to make the case for hiring a forest ecologist to the CSD.

Friday January 15 will be the CSD Strategic Planning meeting. The board will meet on Tuesday to write its plan. “We need to keep pushing what the benefits of a healthy forest are. It’s a key draw for the community. It will become more valuable, like Central Park in New York.”

During the pandemic, more people are coming out to use the open spaces such as Fiscalini Ranch and Pismo Preserve. Solutions are being found to make use by both cyclists and walkers safe.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 pm.

Next Meeting February 10, 2021


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