CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
Minutes August 2018
August 8, 2018
Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street
Meeting was called to order at 6:38 pm. A Quorum was established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, CSD liaison Harry Farmer and Christine Heinrichs, NCAC member Tony Church, also attended.
Public and Director Comments:
The CSD is hesitating about accepting three lots on Dovedale for retirement as part of the Buildout Reduction plan, due to concern over who should pay for removal of three trees that are leaning. One dead tree does not threaten any houses.
“They don’t have to take down every tree,” Crosby Swartz said. “They should at least make a token show that they are supporting the Buildout Reduction Plan. There’s almost no cost involved in accepting these lots. The agencies will not think they are serious about retiring lots if they don’t accept any lots.”
Laura Swartz reported that the hours directors and community members spend in meetings can be assigned a financial value and contribute to Matching Funds for grant participation. Volunteer time is valued at $24 per hour per person.
Minutes of the July meeting were approved with one deletion. Moved by Laura Swartz, seconded by JoEllen Butler.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported that the bank balance is $1,435.60, same as last month. Grant money has all been spent.
Liability Insurance Application: Laura and Crosby will meet with the local insurance agent to get details. Directors will contribute to pay.
Draft Guidelines for Fuel Reduction
Crosby continues to meet with Fire Chief Hollingsworth to create guidelines for weed abatement on preserves, especially Fern Canyon. The CCSD Guidelines now specify marking tree seedlings and native plants, some progress on preserving native vegetation.
String-trimming can be effective in reducing non-native grasses, but timing is crucial. Trimming after seed heads have set will scatter seeds. Properly timed, trimming can reduce the amount of seed heads developed and subsequent regrowth.
Lots that have previously been weed-whacked are now grass and trees. Those that have not been cut are normal, undisturbed forest.
Crosby presented Chaparral Institute’s report on wildland fires, now posted to the Forest Committee website under Forest Related Documents, which the Institute sent to Governor Jerry Brown. The report emphasizes strategies other than removing fuel to reduce fire danger, such as external sprinklers, ember-resistant vents, and replacing flammable roofing and siding with fire-resistant Class A material. The report points out that excessive fire treatments can damage native habitats and result in more flammable landscapes.
Crosby will explore a connection with the Chaparral Institute to join with them on future reports.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group
Cambria has been awarded a California Climate Investment grant for $1,816,304, supported by $85,000 in partner matching, for a total of over $1.9 million. The grant application, Scope of Work, and map are posted on the website. The project proposes to remove 700 acres of dead trees and French broom. The Scope of Work cites the Fire Safe Focus Group as the organization of community support, of which the Forest Committee is mentioned as a member.
The Forest Committee will pursue additional involvement with this grant, to advise regarding best practices in tree and brush removal.
A Chipping Event will be held September 18-19. Sign up by September 15 for the crew to come to your property and chip waste.
Review New Permit Applications: The county has a new system. Crosby will check into getting The Forest Committee back on the list.
Agenda Items and Speakers for Upcoming Meetings
Rick Hawley is a possible speaker for September or October.
Harry will speak about The Forest Committee at Dinner Church on August 14.
Public and Director Comments:
Christine Heinrichs will send Hearst Ranch tour report to all directors and Harry.
She will look into the advantages and disadvantages of getting Monterey Pine listed as an Endangered Species.
Meeting adjourned at 7:25
Next Meeting September 12, 2018