Minutes March 2018

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
Minutes March 2018
March 14, 2018, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by the attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Julie Jorgenson, JoEllen Butler, Nancy Anderson of Greenspace and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer, Community Services District liaison, attended. Tony Church and Peter and Ruth Frey attended.
Public and Director Comments

Laura Swartz and Julie Jorgenson noted that smoke from a neighbor’s fireplace pollutes local air.

Crosby Swartz has information about the SOD Blitz, scheduled for April 20-22. He will add it to the April meeting agenda.

Christine Heinrichs will discuss the State Parks project to expand Monterey Pine forest north of the San Simeon campground with Mike Walgren and report.
Minutes of the January meeting were approved with two changes.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported a total of $1,723.99 in the Forest Committee account. Sales of the Invasive Weed Guide added $176 in the past month, including $156 sold at the January meeting when Sarah Bisbing spoke. A donation of $140 was received to defray Dr. Bisbing’s costs.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations
Laura will order 50 more copies of the Invasive Weed Guide and additional copies of the trifold brochure for use at the Greenspace Earth Day event April 22.

The cost will be $400, to be paid from the Cambria Community Council grant for that purpose, leaving $156 remaining. Moved by JoEllen Butler, seconded by Laura Swartz. Unanimous approval.

Website Update Suggestions: Crosby Swartz suggested updating the website section on the Buildout Reduction Committee by removing the progress reports and posting the final report.

Forest Management
Forest Manager Duties and Funding: JoEllen Butler reported that the fire chief has submitted seven grant proposals, including one for a forest manager. Crosby will contact Chief Hollingsworth and send him the Forest Committee’s Job Description for a Forest Manager.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group

JoEllen Butler reported that Dan Turner, business manager for the county Fire Safe Council, has written grant applications, including one for a biomass plant. The problem with funding projects by reimbursement is being addressed in a bill sponsored by State Senator Bill Monning, SB 1079, for which he is seeking support.

Cal Fire burned piles of vegetation cut to reduce french broom along the east side of Bridge Street during the rain in the past week. They are also widening the fuel break up toward the cemetery.

The Fire Safe Focus Group will hold another forum March 27, 6-8 pm, featuring County Office of Emergency Services director Ron Alsop. The forum will focus on what commercial, business, and other organizations and churches can do after an emergency event to help the community recover.

Report from Coastal Commission Meeting
Crosby and Laura attended the Oxnard meeting. The significant local issue on the agenda was the appeal of the Vacation Rental application. The County Planning Commission had recommended the application be denied, but the County Supervisors approved an exemption for it. The permit application was denied in a 6-4 vote.

Harry Farmer commented that Air BNB and Vacation Rentals reduce the amount of long term rental units. They are often owned by absentee owners who are making money but are not committed to the best interests of the community. Businesses are affected because employees are unable to find local housing. Julie Jorgenson said that neighborhoods are changed by short term rentals. Tony Church said that the county has sent letters to short term rental unit owners requiring them to comply with the law, but not many owners have yet responded. Over time, county enforcement could reduce the problem. Crosby Swartz said that having a Vacation Rental License increases the value of the property, raising the cost of surrounding properties. The 6-4 vote indicates that the issue was not settled among the commissioners.
The San Simeon Wastewater Treatment Plant application was postponed to a future meeting.

New Business

Earth Day Fair April 22nd: Crosby applied for Greenspace Earth Day Fair. Tony and JoEllen offered to loan the Forest Committee a table.  Christine will bring the large screen iPad to show the Invasive Weed app. Crosby will request a place in the shade. The table will included a sign-up sheet and accept donations.

Unfinished Business

Forest Resources Mitigation Measure Letter: Crosby shared a draft of a letter county planners, county supervisor, CSD general manager and the Coastal Commission, noting that the SWF Project EIR does not adequately address the impact of the SWF. The letter asks for a Forest Resources mitigation measure be added. JoEllen moved and Christine seconded to approve sending the letter.

Director Liability Insurance: Crosby’s insurance agent has not fully addressed the issue of liability for actions taken. Directors can be sued as individuals. Laura will research the issue in a book on the subject and report at the April meeting. Julie Jorgenson said that taking action in good faith with due diligence is a factor. Crosby’s insurance agent said they are covered. Not sure whether they are covered for actions taken.

Agenda Items and Speaker for Next Meeting:

Laura proposed inviting  Cal Poly professor Matt Ritter to speak on the broad benefits of the forest to the community.
Public and Director Comments:

Peter Frey and his wife Ruth moved to Cambria from Colorado. Peter Frey is concerned about the amount of dead wood and debris in the residential areas.  He had difficulty finding an insurance company to insure his home due to fire rating. Discussion of the issues, conflicting responsibilities among agencies and private property owners. He will continue advocating for fuel reduction.
Meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm

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Minutes January 2018

Minutes of the January 2018 meeting. PDF posted here.

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes January 10 2018 .pdf

January 10, 2018, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler and Christine Heinrichs. Dan Turner, business manager for county Fire Safe Council, Kermit Johansson of PROS, and Harry Farmer, CCSD liaison, also attended.

Guest Speaker Sarah Bisbing, Ph.D, spoke on “Drought and disease shape demographic processes in endemic Monterey pine.” Over 60 people attended. Slides and notes to be posted separately.

Minutes of November Meeting approved as amended.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported that the balance is $1,601.97. $100 was paid to Dante Garcia for his translation of the Invasive Weed Guide into Spanish. Dr. Bisbing was paid $200 to defer expenses for her travel from Reno, Nevada.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Invasive Weed Guide Spanish Translation: The text is translated but the iNaturalist Guide is not yet done.

Forest Resources Mitigation Measure Letter: Crosby will write and circulate a draft for directors’ approval.

Display for Sandy’s Deli: The Forest Committee could provide a small version of the Forest interpretive sign. The Forest Committee, Greenspace and FFRP could work together to keep the showcase attractive.

Forest Management

Job Description for Forester / Forest Ecologist: Dan Turner said that finding a Registered Professional Forester is difficult. A RPF could consult and supervise a less qualified individual.

Cape Ivy Biological Control Update: The USDA study of the effect of the shoot-tip galling fly is being conducted in The Land Conservancy’s Lower SLO Creek Floodplain Preserve in San Luis Obispo. Tests have shown a 30-60% reduction of Cape Ivy stem length after a single generation. USDA researchers have released the fly in 10 locations in California, from Humboldt to Santa Barbara, after nearly two decades of extensive lab studies on its effect on native and agricultural plants and a peer-review permitting process. It could be a tool in controlling Cape Ivy, a serious invasive in Cambria.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group —  LHMP

CSD General Manager Jerry Gruber has asked Dan Turner to rework the grant application for a biomass cogenerator, to submit to the Cal Fire grant category Forest Health. Grant payments are done as reimbursements, so funding must be in place prior to receiving the grant. Phoenix Technologies has a biomass cogenerator being installed in North Fork, CA. Christine Heinrichs reported that All Power Labs has changed its business plan for its Powertainer. The company leases their equipment in exchange for part of the energy produced. The company representative was not confident that Cambria would be an appropriate location for its Powertainer. The Powertainer is not yet operational. The requirements of the grant used to produce it dictate that the first unit(s) be sited in Northern California.

FEMA has Hazard Mitigation grants available. Government units must be the applicants. CCSD and CCHD are planning to apply. Cambria could qualify for flood protection funds.

The Fire Safe Focus Group will hold its first of four community meetings on preparedness on January 31, 4-6 pm at the Vets Hall. Sandra Millers Younger, author of “The Fire Outside My Window,” which recounts her experience in San Diego’s 2003 Cedar Fire, is the speaker.

New Business

Director Liability Insurance: Forest Committee directors’ exposure is low, as the Forest Committee has no employees and owns no vehicles. Directors will check with their insurance agents to determine whether they are covered on their homeowners’ policies.

Unfinished Business

Comments on Coastal Commission Agenda Items: The Orellana appeal was scheduled, but since the meeting, Mr. Orellana has withdrawn his application. The Coastal Commission meets in Cambria February 7-9.

Send Agenda Items and Speaker suggestions to Crosby.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.

Next Meeting February 14, 2018

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Minutes November 2017

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
Minutes November 2017
November 8, 2017, 6:30 PM
Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

The meeting was called to order and a quorum established by attendance of directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, Connie Gannon, and Christine Heinrichs.

No public comment or questions were presented.

The Minutes of the September Meeting were approved with amendments to the wording of the Cambria Community Council grant application and deletion of the mention of the Chamber app.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported the bank balance at $1,151.97, including a $25 donation.  She received confirmation of the State Board of Equalization asked for documentation she submitted.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations
Invasive Weed Guide Publicity. Crosby will check with Kathe Tanner regarding notice in The Cambrian.

Cambria Community Council Grant Application: Laura confirmed with CCC secretary Susan Kennedy that the Forest Committee can sell the Invasive Weed Guide, which was funded by a grant. Sales would require collection of sales tax. The Guide will be available free as appropriate and to donors. Suggested donation at least $8. Connie will bring some copies to the schools.

One board member at the CCC questioned the inclusion of herbicides such as glyphosate in the Guide. The Guide covers generally accepted methods of weed control, including chemical means.

Laura will have more copies of the Forest Committee trifold printed, for the Historic Society kiosk

Christine has found Google Translate is effective in creating a Spanish translation of the Invasive Weed Guide.

CCC grant awards will be made at a meeting at Santa Rosa Church November 27.

Forest Resources Mitigation Measure: Crosby and Laura submitted a letter to the County regarding the Sustainable (Emergency) Water Project Environmental Impact Report addressing the adverse effects of the growth that could be inspired by the plant. Laura’s map illustrates the location of lots under consideration by the Build-Out Reduction Committee.

HOW CEQA DEFINES EFFECTS

EFFECTS

Contrary to NEPA, CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines use the terms “effects” and “impacts” interchangeably. The CEQA Guidelines define three types of effects (or impacts):

  1. Direct or primary effects that are caused by a project and occur at the same time and place.
  2. Indirect or secondary effects that are reasonably foreseeable and caused by a project, but occur at a different time or place. The CEQA Guidelines state the following:
  3. An indirect physical change in the environment is a physical change…which is not immediately related to the project, but which is caused indirectly by the project. If a direct physical change in the environment in turn causes another change in the environment, then the other change is an indirect change in the environment (Section 15064 (d)(2)).
  4. …Indirect or secondary effects may include growth-inducing effects and other effects related to induced changes in the pattern of land use, population density, or growth rate, and related effects on air and water and other natural systems, including ecosystems (Section 15358)(a)(2)).
  5. As stated in Section 2(d) of the Guidelines, a growth-inducing impact could occur if:
  6. …the proposed project could foster economic or population growth, or the construction of additional housing, either directly or indirectly, in the surrounding environment. Included in this are projects that would remove obstacles to population growth (a major expansion of a waste water treatment plant might, for example, allow for more construction in the service areas). Increases in the population may tax existing community service facilities, requiring construction of new facilities that could cause significant environmental effects.
  7. A project may have some characteristic that may encourage and facilitate other activities that could significantly affect the environment, either individually or cumulatively. For example, the construction of a new sewage treatment plant may facilitate population growth in the service area due to the increase in sewage treatment capacity, which may lead to an increase in air pollution from man-made mobile and stationary sources. Section 15126.2(d) of the Guidelines concludes by cautioning the planner that “It must not be assumed that growth in any area is necessarily beneficial, detrimental, or of little significance to the environment.”
  8. Cumulative effects. Section 15355 of the CEQA Guidelines states: “Cumulative impacts” refers to two or more individual effects which, when considered together, are considerable or which compound or increase other environmental impacts.
  9. (a) The individual effects may be changes resulting from a single project or a number of separate projects.
  10. (b) The cumulative impact from several projects is the change in the environment which results from the incremental impact of the project when added to other closely related past, present, and reasonably foreseeable probable future projects. Cumulative impacts can result from individually minor but collectively significant projects taking place over a period of time.
  11. Important direction to the practical use of this definition is found in Section 15130 of the CEQA Guidelines:
  12. (a)(1) As defined in Section 15355, a cumulative impact consists of an impact which is created as a result of the combination of the project evaluated in the EIR together with other projects causing related impacts [emphasis added].
  13. (b)…The discussion of cumulative impacts shall…focus on the cumulative impact to which the identified other projects contribute rather than the attributes of other projects which do not contribute to the cumulative impact [emphasis added].
  14. For example, if another project contributes only to a cumulative impact upon natural resources, its impacts on public services need not be discussed as part of cumulative impact analysis.
  15. Taken together, these elements define what counts for the practitioner and help to focus the evaluation upon other actions that are closely related in terms of impact on the resource— not closely related project types.

SIGNIFICANT EFFECTS

Projects can cause significant impacts by direct physical changes to the environment or by triggering reasonably foreseeable indirect physical changes. Physical changes caused by a project can contribute incrementally to cumulative effects that are significant, even if individual changes resulting from a project are limited. You must determine whether the cumulative impact is significant, as well as whether an individual effect is “cumulatively considerable.” This means “the incremental effects of an individual project are significant when viewed in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects” (Guidelines Section 15064(h)(1)).

When considering the relationship between the cumulative condition and the incremental effect of an individual project, keep in mind that “The mere existence of significant cumulative impacts caused by other projects alone shall not constitute substantial evidence that the proposed project’s incremental effects are cumulatively considerable” (Guidelines Section 15064(h)(4)).

See footnote: “The CEQA Guidelines define three types of effects (or impacts).”

Minutes November 2017Directors favored submitting a letter from the Forest Committee. Crosby and Laura will discuss with County Planner Airlin Singewald at the next NCAC meeting to determine the appropriate time to submit comments.

Forest Management
Job Description for Forester / Forest Ecologist: Grant funding will be available through Cal Fire’s Community Forest Health grants . A Forest Manager position could be included in a proposal. The fire break on Covell Ranch has been poorly managed: masticating the understory resulted in regrowth of fire-prone weeds such as French broom. The area, formerly open to the public, is now locked. Logs have been stacked instead of being placed in contact with the ground for break down into the soil. Community education can support better forest management.

Cape Ivy Biological Control Test: The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo is participating in a USDA Agricultural Research Service study using the shoot-tip galling fly as a biological control to manage Cape-ivy infestation on the Floodplain Preserve. Christine will inquire for more information.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Discussion focused on deficiencies in the Reverse 911 system, which will be the subject of a public workshop in the future. Laura said that building more houses in the forest exacerbates evacuation problems by increasing traffic on limited roads out of town.

JoEllen reported on FFRP’s test plots thus far. It’s too soon to draw conclusions, but three different treatments have been applied, involving thinning of trees, lopping, and chipping the trim and scattering it on the ground. All three are showing new growth of pine and oaks. FFRP is considering inviting James Allen back to evaluate the forest.

New Business

The Forest Committee will hold its regular meeting December 13.


Unfinished Business

Coastal Commission Meeting Report: delayed to March meeting.

Resource Management System Revisions: delayed to March meeting

Appeal of Orellana Building Permit: scheduled for January.
Send Agenda Items for the December meeting to Crosby.

Adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Next Meeting December 13, 2017

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Minutes September 2017

Minutes September 2017

September 13, 2017, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by the attendance of Laura and Crosby Swartz, JoEllen Butler, Julie Jorgenson, and Christine Heinrichs. Connie Gannon arrived 7:30 Matt Terzes of Cal Poly, Tony Church of NCAC, Harry Farmer, liaison to the CSD, and concerned Cambian Jeff Walters also attended.

Public Comment and Questions: Jeff Walters expressed concern over the trees being removed, opening a discussion as to what can be done. County does not actively enforce tree removal requirements. A Forest Manager would oversee the entire forest. The LHMP includes implementing the Forest Management Plan as a Mitigation Action. It could also help homeowners who have had trouble getting fire insurance. “ It’s a positive thing we can do to convince fire underwriters that Cambria is not a lost cause,” Crosby Swartz said. “Being in a formal document elevates this into the discussion.”

Getting an assessment of the forest’s condition could also spark discussion of how best to care for the forest.

Minutes of August Meeting have not been submitted. Christine and Crosby will work on writing them.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reports the bank balance is $1,126.97. All the CCC grant money has been spent on weed guide.

Sub-Committee Reports

   Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

 Invasive Weed Guide Distribution Plan: The Invasive Weed Guide will be distributed to hub sites in the community, such as the library, the fire station, the Chamber of Commerce and the schools. Books will be given as a premium to all donors. A flyer will be prepared to accompany the book to direct readers to donate and drive them to the iNaturalist app.

  County Permit Referral Package Review: the county is not sending them to the committee but Laurel Stewart of NCAC is forwarding them. Tony Church said that trees are being removed from a lot on Dorking for construction of a workshop. On Latham, the owner is taking pains to preserve trees as he constructs a garage.

Crosby has not yet reviewed the TDC report. The meeting with Jay Johnson at the County discussed placing some limitations on the size of house that can be built on receiver sites. Johnson was under direction from the county to increase the number of sender sites.

Connie Gannon, executive director of Greenspace, wrote to the  County requesting that revisions to the TDC regulations be done as part of a comprehensive plan review rather than piecemeal. She will also ask the Coastal Commission, meeting in Cambria this week, to reconsider changes to the Resource Management System and make them part of a comprehensive review.

  Cambria Community Council Grant Application: Laura will apply for a grant to produce a Spanish language version of the Invasive Weed Guide for the app and to pay for distribution.

Forest Management

    Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Action Items: The LHMP provides for annual updates, which will be opportunities to discuss implementing the Forest Management Plan.

New Business

Christine Heinrichs suggested creating a list of possible candidates for the position of Forest Ecologist.

   Coastal Commission Meeting Topics

      Resource Management System Revisions: The revisions have been difficult to follow and appear to change the RMS from regulatory to advisory. Cynthia Hawley will present to the Coastal Commission on behalf of Landwatch.  

      Appeal of Orellana Building Permit: The Coastal Commission staff report found Substantial Issue with the permit application. The applicants did not contest the Substantial Issue finding, which will be accepted by the commission. The applicant has exercised his one-time postponement of the de novo hearing. Date to be set later.

Unfinished Business

   Speaker Invitations: Matt Terzes, graduate student who has taken over supervision of Sarah Bisbing’s Monterey Pine project attended the meeting. He is compiling three years of data on Monterey Pines. His work is evaluating how pitch pine canker moves through the forest, and how the forest responds. His report will examine the status and health of the forest, how new trees are filling in for senescent trees. “Monterey Pines are fairly resilient,” he said. “People have different reasons to be interested: It’s a rare endangered species. There’s an ecological perspective. It’s a commercial resource. I’m passionate about forest ecology. Understanding helps us protect it.”

He will give a poster presentation to the Forest Pest Council in November. He can give a presentation at the November 8 Forest Committee meeting that will be publicized to Cambrians, or at a later meeting.To be arranged.

“There are different reasons for people to be interested: It’s a rare endangered species. There’s an ecological perspective, and it’s a commercial resource. I’m passionate about forest ecology. Understanding helps us protect it.”

Connie brought up Governor Brown’s Emergency Timber Harvest Proclamation. Although it is targeted to the Sierras, it could increase tree removal in Cambria. She will circulate it and discuss with State Sen. Bill Monning’s aide.  

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Next Meeting October 11, 2017

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June 2017 Minutes

Minutes June 2017 posted here.
CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
Meeting Minutes
June 14, 2017, 6:30 PM
Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street
 
A Quorum was established by attendance of  Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, Julie Jorgenson and Christine Heinrichs. Tony Church and Laurel Stewart of NCAC, CSD liaison Harry Farmer, Jim Neumann of Cal Fire, and Nancy Anderson of Greenspace also attended.
Public Comment and Questions: Jim Neumann reported from San Luis Obispo Fire Safe Council that they did some test burns of small piles of french broom that had been removed on Covell Ranch. They have sent a logging team from Ventana Forestry to the Ranch to fall dead tees and salvage usable timber for Pacific Lumber. Pines are not showing signs of regrowth in the cleared fuel break. He cautioned that it is dangerous there: two trees fell without help near the loggers. Harry Farmer noted that the public has some rights to access on the Ranch that have not been honored in recent years.
     Tony Church asked about removal of broom from the west side of Highway 1. It’s priority #5 of 5 for Cal Fire. The brush bears on the issue of deer on the highway, because it’s their habitat.
Approve Minutes of May Meeting: approved as written.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported $3,073.76, including $215 of the first Community Council grant and $750 of the second.
Sub-Committee Reports
       
Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations
     Invasive Weed Guide Status Report: Design is proving more expensive than anticipated. Printing costs will be $925 for 100 copies. Laura is exploring other sources of funding. She will apply to the Fire Safe Council and the County. The Garden Club might donate. The Forest Committee has some donations from 2016. Bruce Fosdike said he may have some suggestions. Christine will post a request for donations on the web site, offering a free copy of the book with every donation.
     Invasive Weed Information for iNaturalist Website: It is posted online and on the app under Cambria’s Invasive Weeds. Check it out. http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/cambria-s-invasive-weeds
     CCSD Environmental Impact Report: Not approved due to late posting of the Adaptive Management Plan. The Forest Committee did not submit an official letter, but Crosby and Laura Swartz and Christine Heinrichs submitted letters as individuals. The EIR does not address the effects of growth that it is intended to serve. Laura has made a map of the lots on the Water Wait List showing that many of them are heavily wooded lots in the forest. Thirty-four lots are classified as Highest Priority Conservation habitat. Developing them will impact the overall forest integrity.
     MUP for Eucalyptus Tree Removal on FRP: FRP board split 4-3 on the issue of removing all trees or only the smaller trees. FRP executive director JoEllen preferred to remove all, citing the example of another section of the ranch where pine regeneration was better in the section where all eucalyptus were removed. The ranch is classified as mixed oak and pine forest. “I consider it a forest health problem,” she said.
     Letter to the Cambrian: Connie Gannon wrote a Viewpoint on removing thistles. It will be posted to the web site.
Forest Management
     Sudden Oak Death Field Sampling: The Swartzes and the Heinrichs participated. Results will be posted in the fall.
     Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan: The plan recommends implementing the Forest Management Plan and hiring a forest ecologist. We should be prepared with names of candidates for the position.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: The group is looking for other ways to get funding for a biomass cogenerator now that the CSD has not been invited to submit a grant application to Cal Fire. Jim Neumann noted in his report that the pine trees deteriorate quickly and may not be suitable fuel for a cogenerator. Crosby Swartz and Laurel Stewart noted that it is powered by a diesel generator, with resultant noise and fumes.
No New Business
 
Unfinished Business
    Smartphone Forest Application: iNaturalist app reported under Subcommittees.
Agenda Items for Next Meeting:
     Laurel Stewart suggested reading the revised North Coast Area Plan, which is coming before the North Coast Advisory Council for approval. It makes changes to Transfer Development Credits that may impact that program and allow larger footprints for houses and decks. Tony Church found it very confusing.NCAC will act on it at their July meeting.
Changes to Guest House and Secondary Units may affect water use by short-term rentals through Air BNB, but such units also provide affordable housing. These additional tenants increase the statistical number of people per housing unit. “They (the CCSD Board) are not taking this increasing occupancy into account,” Crosby said.
Public and Director Comments: Cal Poly Forestry Professor Sarah Bisbing has taken a new position in Alaska. Christine will contact Matt Terzes, the graduate student who is leading research in Cambria’s forest and invite him to a meeting.
Adjourned at 8:16 pm.
Next Meeting July 12, 2017
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Minutes May 2017

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes May 2017

May 10, 2017, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Connie Gannon, JoEllen Butler, and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer, CCSD liaison, Tony Church of NCAC, Jeff Kwasny, and Laurel Stewart also attended.

Public Comment and Questions: 

Tony Church noted that the County has incorrect information on the letter it sent extending the streamlined procedure for permits to remove hazardous trees.  The tree replacement requirements apply only to Monterey Pine and Coast Live Oaks, not all trees, in the ratio of 4:1 for Monterey Pine and 6:1 for oaks. He will write to the county informing them of the error. Crosby will write a letter on behalf of the Forest Committee.

Minutes of the April Meeting were approved with amendments.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported no changes, balance $3,208.76. Lynn Singer charged $135 to review the tax filing. Laura sent the completed letter and tax records regarding nonprofit status to the state Board of Equalization.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations: Connie reported that nine people attended Greenspace’s Saturday morning Native Plants for Vegetation Workers workshop. Mike Rice demonstrated techniques by clearing one lot. Rick Hawley took us around another lot that was not yet cleared, showing examples of native plants that should not be weed-whacked. One vegetation worker, a friend of Rick’s, translated for those who needed it. Five people were certified and will have their names added to the Fire Department’s list of certified vegetation workers. Fire Fighter Michael Castellonos attended. Greenspace will reproduce the native plants flyer and advise people to ask for the list at the fire station.

CFC Directors Mailing List: Crosby and Christine continue to work on updating the list.

Invasive Weed Guide Funding: Laura and Christine will approach the county Fire Safe Council for additional funding.

County Permit Referral Package: The Forest Committee is still not receiving County Planning application packages. Laurel Stewart reported that Winsor Construction has applied for a lot line adjustment to allow it to sell a parcel of 41 acres. the county is disinclined to create parcels smaller than the required 320 acres minimum ag parcel, but this site is steep and would make the contiguous site over 400 acres. The prospective buyer has a cabin there and has sunk a well. He is a tree surgeon and has been good to the oaks there.

PG&E Work Refusal Letter: Connie Gannon reported that Bruce Fosdike reported at the Fire Safe Focus Group that although PG&E has rescinded their order to remove one of his trees, he would like the entire opinion retracted. He will continue to work with them on it and report to the Forest Committee.

Forest Management

 Sudden Oak Death Field Sampling: SOD Blitz training and sampling will be done May 11-14.

 Forest Health Program Grant Status: The concept paper was not invited to advance to the full application level. This involves the biomass cogenerator plant. Fire Safe Council Business Manager Dan Turner will report at Fire Safe Focus Group.

Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan: The updated LHMP, including the Health District, has been completed and is being circulated. Public forum for discussion scheduled for May 30.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Connie reported that Bruce Fosdike has a $500 grant for community involvement for which he has no project. She suggested getting volunteers together to pull french broom on Bridge Street. CCC crews are fully occupied in the Sierras for the rest of the year and are not available for weed work in Cambria. Weeds are very bad this year, with thistles ready to bloom and spread their seed. Heads need to be cut and bagged now. Weeds should be disposed of in greenwaste containers, no plastic bags. Kathe Tanner, reporter for The Cambrian, has had her hours reduced and will no longer cover public meetings. Connie will write a Letter to the Editor to The Cambrian about the weeds. Christine will send her photos.

New Business:

BRC Map: Laura is coloring a map to illustrate lots currently retired, lots under conservation easement and lots on the Water Wait List that may be developed. She and Crosby are working with the Buildout Reduction Committee. Members discussed the issues. Water Wait List owners claim they want to build their Dream Home, but then build a house and sell it for profit. Many positions on the Water Wait List are held by people who already live in Cambria and real estate professionals who bought the lots on speculation. Houses being built are much bigger than houses built in the past. The lot at Bay and Chester has been sold. Reports say that the new owners are environmentally conscious and the hope is that they will build something good for the community.

Site Visit: Laurel invited the members to join her and the NCAC Land Use Committee for a site visit to the Fiscalini Ranch section from which 175 eucalyptus trees will be removed. The application includes saplings, young trees, large older trees and 39 very large older trees.

Spring in Cambria: Harry Farmer is hearing migratory songbirds in Strawberry Canyon. Laura and Connie noted that there are more crows, possibly filling the ecological niche formerly occupied by jays.

Unfinished Business

Smartphone Invasive Weed Application: Christine has not heard back from What’s Invasive, which is managed by the University of Georgia. She will pursue creating a page on iNaturalist.

Sarah Bisbing‘s presentation is being rescheduled.

Agenda Items for Next Meeting: Contact Crosby with agenda items.

Adjourned at 8:37 pm.

 

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Minutes April 2017

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes April 2017

April 12, 2017, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by the attendance of directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, Connie Gannon, JoEllen Butler, and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer, CCSD liaison, Nancy Anderson of Greenspace and Beautify Cambria Association, Tony Church of NCAC, Bruce Fosdike of Cambria Fire Safe Focus Group, Gordon Heinrichs, and Kathe Tanner of The Cambrian also attended.

Public Comment and Questions: Bruce Fosdike presented the letter sent to him by PGE regarding his refusal to consent to tree trimming on his property. He will pursue the issue with PGE and Davey Tree personnel and report back.

Minutes of March Meeting approved as amended.

Treasurer’s Report: $3,208.76, including the remainder of one Cambria Community Council grant, $215.91, and the entire amount of the second, $750. CPA Lynn Singer, who has signed off on tax reports in the past, has raised her fee from $50 to $135. Records are submitted to her for 2016. The directors can discuss whether this expense is needed in future.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

CFC Directors Mailing List: Crosby will share with Christine to invite past participants to return to the Forest Committee.

Invasive Weed Guide Comments: Christine will print a hard copy for Crosby and Laura. Designer Don Ambriz will be consulted for an estimate of costs. Other funding sources such as the county Fire Safe Council and the Weed Management Authority can be approached if the $750 grant is not adequate.

County Permit Referral Packages: Crosby is still not receiving the packages. He will contact county Senior Planner Airlin Singewald and Planner II Brandi Cummings.

Forest Management

Sudden Oak Death Survey Training: will be held on:

Thursday May 11 from 1pm to 4pm at SLO County Department of Agriculture, 2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, CA

Friday, May 12, 6pm to 8pm, Atascadero Library, Martin Polin Community Room, 6555 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero, CA

Collecting will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 13 and 14.

Registration for the training is now open. Each participant need only attend one training session. Click here to register – http://ucanr.edu/2017sodblitztraining

Kathe Tanner would like to interview someone who attends the training for an article in The Cambrian.

Fire Code Revisions: There is some confusion as to what trees are covered, whether dead or down. Connie and JoEllen will arrange to meet with Fire Chief William Hollingsworth to clarify.

Forest Health Program Concept Proposal: Connie submitted a grant application. The Forest Committee is listed as an advisory group.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Protocol is in place for fire hydrant testing, but it has not yet started. Dan Turner will submit a grant application for the Biomass Cogeneration Plant. The additional Fuel Cube unit costs $270,000 plus $200,000 in support equipment, too expensive for Cambria. He will advocate for Cal Fire to purchase one for the Sierras that Cambria could borrow.

No New Business  

Unfinished Business

Smartphone Forest Application: Christine will check What’s Invasive and Cambria Chamber apps and report.

Forest Health Program Grant Application: Connie will report.

Contact Crosby with agenda items for next meeting by May 8.

Public and Director Comments: Several events coming up:

Greenspace Wildflower hike, Saturday April 15

Greenspace concert fundraiser following March for Science walk April 22

BCA weed pulling on medians and sidewalk strips, 2 pm April 23

FFRP Wildflower Show, April 29-30, expect unusual plants following Chimney Fire. Photo contest this year, submit two copies, matted not larger than 16 x 20, to the FFRP office before April 21.

Sarah Bisbing is rescheduling her talk for FFRP.

Greenspace landscaping workshop, May 6, 10 am. Identifying native plants. All welcome. Landscape workers can get a certificate that qualifies them for recommendation by the fire department in weed removal. Spanish translation available.

Adjourned at 8:25 pm.

Next Meeting May 10, 2017

Next Meeting May 10, 2017
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Minutes March 2017

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
Meeting Minutes

March 8, 2017, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

Minutes March 2017

A Quorum was established by the attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz,  JoEllen Butler, Connie Gannon, and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer attended as CCSD liaison. Tony Church serves on NCAC’s Land Use Committee and Traffic Committee. Kermit Johansson also attended.   

Minutes of the February meeting were approved as written.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reports that the accounts are unchanged since last meeting, at $3,208.76. Two grants have remaining balances: $215.91, the other has $750, the full amount, remaining. Laura sent the paperwork for taxes to CPA Lynn Singer for preparation. The State Board of Equalization has sent a standard letter requesting documentation of 501c3 status. Laura will send the requested two years of tax forms filed.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

     Invasive Weed Guide: Further comments are requested. Laura is exploring printing costs.

County Permit Referral Packages: Crosby is still not receiving them on behalf of the Forest Committee. He is in communication with Laurel Stewart of the NCAC Land Use Committee, which reviews permit applications. No recent applications affect trees, but Tony Church noted that two oak trees on Banbury had county Do Not Remove notices posted on them, but were taken down. Tony and Connie Gannon will follow up with County representative Airlin Singewald.  Tony also received a complaint from Allen Dean that two trees were removed on Pineridge. Tony will follow up.

Web site: Crosby requested that the CCSD Notices of Violations  be removed from the web site.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Connie reported that the Greenhouse Gas Reduction grant guidelines have been released. They are posted on the Cal Fire web site., http://www.fire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_foresthealth_grants. Dan Turner will submit a concept paper for a backup grant for the Biomass Cogenerator Plant. $22 million is available statewide. Concept papers are due April 7, complete applications by those invited to apply by May 15. Decisions on awards will  be made in June.

Fire Safe Council’s Jim Neumann has a crew of 14 people clearing french broom from Bridge Street and Covell Ranch. They will be working through Friday. They are hand pulling and using a weed wrench, the most effective ways to control broom.

Cambria has updated its Fire Code. Cambria’s General Manager Jerry Gruber said at the meeting that the new Fire Code has teeth to require removal of dead and dying trees from private property. This could have an impact on Greenspace. She will examine it to find out whether conservation reserve land is exempt. “We want to make sure it does not affect reserve properties such as Fern Canyon,” Crosby said.

Fire Wise signs will be posted at the north end of Cambria as well as the south end. Connie says that at 4′ x 8′, they are too big. A sign will be placed on the hillside above the retaining wall at the north end on Windsor. They will be changed seasonally. The Fire Chief wants some fireworks signs.

Report from PROS Committee: Laura and Crosby Swartz attended. PROS is working to establish maintenance costs for lots that will not be developed. 

Agenda items for next meeting: Crosby will examine past lists of Forest Committee members and discuss updated membership.

JoEllen Butler invited all to the FFRP Forest Walk on Saturday. Register on the web site.

Meeting adjourned at 8:21 pm. 

Next Meeting April 12, 2017
 
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Minutes February 2017

Minutes February 2017

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Meeting Minutes: February 8, 2017, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

Meeting called to order and a Quorum established by attendance of directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, Connie Gannon, JoEllenButler, Alan Peters, and Christine Heinrichs. CCSD liaison Harry Farmer, Fire Safe Council Project coordinator Jim Neumann, Fire Safe Business Manager Dan Turner, Greenspace board member Nancy Anderson, and Cambrian reporter Kathe Tanner also attended.

Public Comment and Questions

Dan Turner introduced Jim Neumann who will be the point person on the ground leading the Fire Safe Council’s projects in Cambria. Contact him at 805-458-5864, type1logistics@gmail.com.

Minutes of January Meeting were approved as written. Christine will send minutes to all directors in future, not only the ones who attended the meeting. Meeting minutes are posted after approval on the web site.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported a total of $3,208.76 in the account. She paid bills of $365 for printing design and the post office box. The Forest Committee received two donations of $700. $215.91 of Grant #3 remains to pay for kiosk flyers and At Home in the Forest brochures. The new grant of $750 for Invasive Weeds has not yet been spent. Penny Church of the Historical Society has copies to re-fill the kiosk there. They are staying dry in the rain.

Sub-Committee Reports

       Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

     Invasive Weed Guide: Draft of text and some photos is now available. Comments are invited from all directors. Harry Farmer reports that patches of rare native Pink Oxalis are in Strawberry Canyon, up at the cemetery and at the end of Lancaster Street.

Jim Neumann is working with Alan and Dan to identify priorities for french broom eradication. He presented a map showing areas targeted for eradication. Fire Safe Council grant money will pay for work. Send names of vendors who will perform the work to him. Volunteers could be organized to remove it in some areas. Target for removal is March, while the soil is still wet.

County Permit Referral Packages: Crosby is still not receiving them.

Forest Management:

        Forest Health Grant Meeting: Dan Turner reported that the Fire Safe Council will work with CSD on its grant application for a biomass cogenerator unit. The CSD’s Concept Paper is the only one that requests funding for a biomass cogeneration unit, so he is optimistic about it being funded. Check the All Power Labs web site http://www.allpowerlabs.com/ for information.

       The Greenhouse Gas Fund Forest Health grants are intended for large landscape-scale projects, up to 750,000 acres. He will explore setting boundaries around Cambria, possibly to include part of Hearst Ranch, that have stands of forest. Applications could fund continuing work. Dan will send copies of the previous grant applications for directors to review and consider for updated submission.

Sudden Oak Death Survey Planning: Christine will call Mary Bianchi to find out dates for the SOD Blitz.

Endangered Species Status for Monterey Pines: Connie Gannon and Mary Webb of Greenspace met with Annie Aguiniga of State Sen. Bill Monning’s office. They brought the comments of State Parks and others to her attention. All three stands of Monterey Pine are in his district. Greenspace proposes creating a Special Tax District to fund management of all Monterey Pines. Connie has not yet identified parallel groups in Monterey or Santa Cruz Counties that could advocate for the Pines.

New Business:

       Forest Health Program Grant application was discussed under Forest Management

Unfinished Business: Smartphone Forest Application: Amanda promised a report from a friend who creates apps. She did not attend.

Agenda Items for Next Meeting: Publicize the french broom work day, which could be scheduled for May 6.

Connie suggested exploring citizen science projects such as one-acre surveys of the entire biome. The Forest Committee could sponsor a project to survey one forest acre. Sarah Bisbing’s Cal Poly students and high school students could get involved.

Adjourned at 7:46 pm.

 

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Minutes January 2017

Minutes January 2017

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Meeting Minutes

January 11, 2016  6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, Julie Jorgenson and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer of CCSD, Tony Church of NCAC, and Nancy Anderson of Greenspace also attended.

Harry Farmer plans to attend the Forest Committee as a representative of the CSD board for the next four years of his term.  CCSD Director Amanda Rice arrived later in the meeting.

Minutes of the November meeting were approved as written. The short informal report of the December meeting will be distributed to those who did not attend.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported a total of $2,873.95, including $495 in CCC Grant 3. Some bills have been paid. The $750 CCC Grant was deposited and is included in the total. Nothing has been spent from that grant yet. Grant funds require separate accounting.

Sub-Committee Reports

 Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations:

Community Council Grant Award Meeting: Laura Swartz accepted the check for $750 towards educational and public information, specifically the Invasive Weed Guide.

Pine Forest Flyer: has been printed. Laura will place it in the Historic Society kiosk container and leave some with Penny Church at the Historic Society to keep the container filled.

County Permit Referral Packages: The Forest Committee is still not getting them from the County. Tony Church of NCAC’s Land Use Committee reported that no trees were involved in the two most recent applications. Crosby Swartz will follow up with the county to get the Forest Committee back on the notification list.

Forest Management: Crosby will contact Fire Safe Council Business Manager Dan Turner regarding an area below Strawberry Canyon that has trees down and leaning on each other, creating a ladder fuel situation. Turner sets the schedule for hazardous fuel removal under the existing grants. The Forest Committee members are encouraged to identify situations not covered by existing grants as possible projects.

Sudden Oak Death Survey Planning: Citizen Science Project. The Forest Committee will publicize SODBLITZ, https://nature.berkeley.edu/garbelottowp/?page_id=148, when dates have been set.

Endangered Species Status for Monterey Pines: Julie will work with Connie on this long-range project.

Impact of Recent Storms: JoEllen Butler of FFRP reported that at least one bridge on the ranch washed out. Some trees have come down. The erosion control project at Seaclift Estates will need some repairs. The straw berms will have to be replaced. Harry Farmer reports that Strawberry Canyon has more standing and running water than it has had in a long time. “It’s soul-nourishing to hear the water running down,” he said. Julie Jorgenson heard running water in Fern Canyon for the first time since she moved into her home two years ago. Highway 41 is closed, Santa Rosa Creek Road is closed, Highway 1 is closed at Ragged Point. Highway 46 is open. Amanda Rice reported that the well field flooded but wells were not inundated. Some water got into the brine pond.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Flooding in the West Village is affected by high tides, which push water up Santa Rosa Creek. Dan Turner reported that he now has money available for tree removal.  Crosby will check with Alan Peters of Cal Fire regarding the requirements for tree replanting. The biomass cogeneration plant was discussed. Noise levels will be determined and the plant will be constructed to comply with them.

New Business

Smartphone Forest Application: Amanda talked to a friend who makes apps professionally regarding the Invasive Weeds app. She will bring a report and contact information to the February meeting. The Cambria Chamber of Commerce has a Visit Cambria app, which includes hikes and other outdoor activities. Members discussed the possibility of adding a Forest Committee app describing plants and wildlife in the forest to that. Laura suggested that a grant would be possible to fund one or both.

Unfinished Business

State Responsibility Area Grant Application: JoEllen said some grants are coming up. Dan Turner will have a meeting with forest-related organizations soon.

Public and Director Comments: Amanda Rice will discuss asking Fire Chief Bill Hollingsworth attend Forest Committee meetings. She will assign Harry Farmer as the CSD Board official liaison to the Forest Committee at the next CSD meeting.

Christine Heinrichs will attend the annual meeting of the Society of American Foresters in Los Angeles January 19-20.

Amanda Rice will attend the Climate Change Symposium of the Department of Resources at the end of January. She is concerned about changes to the Resource Management System intended to make it more flexible. The changes will reduce the lead time, which is intended to require planning years in advance. She will report at the February meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 8 pm. Next Meeting February 8, 2017

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