Minutes May 2019

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes May 2019

May 8, 2019, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by the attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, Andrea Wogsland, executive director of Greenspace, and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer, CCSD liaison, Peter Frey, and Tony Church also attended.

Public and Director Comments:

Christine will follow up to check on the status of the Cape Ivy Galling Fly project.

Peter Frey suggested using goats to clear vegetation. JoEllenButler used goats on a section of Fiscalini Ranch, cost $20,000. Terrain, type of vegetation, and fencing are concerns, but she is willing to use them again. They do not eat all the invasives, especially French broom, but do eat all the native plants.

Minutes of April Meeting were approved with one correction.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported the balance at $ 1,221.04.  She paid for purchase of two banners that were used at the Earth Day celebration. FFRP will reimburse $43.43 for one.

Possible Cambria Community Council grant idea: add landscaping with native grasses around the Forest Committee sign. Directors will come up with other ideas for CCC grant funding projects at the June meeting.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Report on Earth Day Fair: The Fair had a beautiful day, but fewer attended than last year, perhaps because it was Easter Sunday. Laura and Crosby made contact with Robin Chase at State Parks and Bill Thornton, Outdoor Education Director at Camp Ocean Pines.

Rick Hawley enlisted families to grow Monterey Pine seedlings. He now has 4,000 potential starts set up. The goal is 10,000 for fall planting. Excellent music, arranged by Dulcie Taylor and using her sound system. Soto’s will continue to participate. Greenspace welcomes feedback.

Website Domain Name Billing: Paul has gotten it transferred from Amanda’s account so that it is under Forest Committee control.

Forest Management

Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Guidelines: Crosby and Laura continue to work with Fire Chief Hollingsworth to modify Weed Abatement to be sensitive to different needs in different areas. Special Project Area 1 has conservation easements that need to be observed. Special Project Area 2 has viewshed issues. A single policy is not appropriate for all undeveloped lots.

Cutting twice a year, before seedheads develop, would reduce spread of invasive weeds and is recommended, but not mandatory, because of additional cost.

“I’m trying to impress on the fire department the importance of timing,” Laura Swartz said.

Cal Fire and CCSD continue to negotiate on transferring responsibility for developed lots from Cal Fire to CCSD. Funding would have to be found to offset the CSD’s additional costs of enforcement.

“The goal ultimately is that people need to maintain their property all year,” Harry Farmer said.

Invasive Borer Workshop May 9th: Christine Heinrichs will attend and report to the Forest Committee at the June meeting.

SOD Blitz: Crosby and Laura, Christine, and Duffy Burns participated from Cambria. Results in the fall.

County Permits: Crosby has not been able to get the county to send permit applications to the Forest Committee, but Tony Church of NCAC’s Land Use Committee said that no applications have been submitted for the past two months. Discussion of the problem of no enforcement or follow-up on planting and maintaining mitigation trees. Greenspace’s new executive director Andrea Wogsland suggested the nonprofits can support each other in following up tree mitigation. Those required to plant trees to mitigate for trees removed usually contact Greenspace to buy replacement trees.

The Coastal Commission did not take tree loss into account in issuing a permit for the O’Sullivan Guest House. Christine will send the Staff Report to those attending. It is posted on the Coastal Commission website at https://documents.coastal.ca.gov/reports/2019/5/W22a/W22a-5-2019-report.pdf

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group:

PG&E will turn off power during high winds. Because of the technical complications of turning it back on, power could be off for several days. Fire Safe Focus Group is looking into planning for a power outage.

Broom Pile Burns along Hwy 1 have been completed. Laura is concerned about the living trees that were singed by the fires. Damaged trees may die, then have to be removed.

Unfinished Business

Greenspace / Forest Committee Letter: Crosby continues to review the Forest Practices Act for how it applies to dead tree removal. The Forest Practice Act and Rules can be accessed at www.calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt_forestpractice. Select 2019 Forest Practice Rules and Act under Forest Practice More Info. Interesting sections include Fuelbreak / Defensible Space on page 55, Harvesting Practices and Erosion Control on page 64, Wildlife Protection Practices on page 112, and Coastal Commission Special Treatment Areas on page 119.

Dark Skies Initiative Support Letter: Christine will rewrite and send to Crosby for approval.

Public and Director Comments:

Directors are asked to come up with ideas for projects that could be funded with CCC grants.

Will the proposed wind farm off Cambria affect fog? Monterey Pine trees are dependent on fog drip. Research this question for future discussion.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm
Next Meeting June 12, 2019

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Minutes April 2019

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes April 2019

April 10, 2019, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by the attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Paul Nugent, JoEllen Butler Julie Jorgenson and Christine Heinrichs. Cambria resident Linda Poppenheimer, Harry Farmer, liaison from the CSD Board of Directors, and Carlos Mendoza, Facilities and Maintenance manager for the CSD also attended.

Public and Director Comments:

Linda Poppenheimer recounted an experience with a tree that was removed from her property by County Public Works. One tree had fallen over in the wind, but without notifying her, the crew also removed a tree she had planted 12 years ago. She asked for specifics of the County’s Tree Removal Ordinance (23.05.060 – Tree Removal In the County Municipal Code,

https://library.municode.com/ca/san_luis_obispo_county/codes/county_code?nodeId=TIT23COZOLAUS_CH23.05SIDEST_23.05.062TRREPERE; Blanket permit, https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/community/cambrian/article39063303.html). She has a picture of the fallen tree and the healthy tree. She was advised to contact the county and ask why the healthy tree was removed.

Carlos Mendoza reported on the work he and his crews have done to clean up homeless encampments on CSD property. The issue has received substantial local interest recently. A committee has been formed, led by Theresa Desmond, to bring solutions to the CSD Board. They meet the first Wednesday of the month, 10 am at Pacific Premier Bank.

Minutes of the March meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported $1,221.04 balance in the account. An invoice from Lynn Singer for review of the taxes is expected, $150.

Sub-Committee Reports:

            Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Materials for Earth Day Fair: Crosby and Laura will bring license plate frames, books, flyers. Crosby will get a banner made to display across the top of the tent to identify the Forest Committee and FFRP. Volunteers will work the booth, 11-3 pm Sunday April 21.

Website Domain Name Billing: Paul is working with Amanda to resolve the issue. He has a video to use for future changes

Forest Management

Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Guidelines: Crosby will discuss with Fire Chief Hollingsworth making the list of properties requiring weed abatement show clearly which are owned by the CSD. Practices for weed abatement were discussed. Laura Swartz has found an outlet for 30 percent vinegar, an effective weed killer, especially for Oxalis, that is not toxic to wildlife or the soil.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: JoEllen attended. The agenda was not well distributed and few attended. Lack of a speaker for the Emergency Preparedness Day on May 18 may be remedied by Craig Ufferheide, who will invite the FEMA speaker from the Disaster Preparedness Workshop May 15-16 to stay on and speak.

New Business

Sudden Oak Death Survey: will be May 3rd – 5th. Attending the training is not required, but helpful. Survey materials are distributed there. Check SODMap app for locations. Crosby and Laura Swartz will do San Simeon Road. Christine Heinrichs will use the list she has compiled in town. Bay Laurels are the trees being sampled. They transmit SOD to oaks.

Unfinished Business

Greenspace / Forest Committee Letter: Crosby wants to compare language in the Forest Practice Act with the Cambria Forest Management Plan to determine whether there are any significant differences.

Dark Skies Initiative Support Letter: Christine will draft a letter of support relevant to forest concerns.

Public and Director Comments

Kim Corella, CALFIRE, RPF#2916, Southern Region Forest Pest Specialist/Forester II, Cell – 805-550-8583 invited all interested people to a workshop on invasive shot hole borer (ISHB) and goldspotted oak borer (GSOB), to be held in San Luis Obispo on May 9th from 9:30-2:30.  More information at www.pshb.org.

“These insects have not been found yet in our County but they are very close and we are especially concerned about the ISHB which can attack over 110 tree species. Many of these are native riparian species such as Sycamore, Cottonwood, Alder, Willows, Box Elders and this insect also attacks coast live oak and valley oaks.

“Please come and attend this local workshop so you can learn how to identify these invasive insects and report them if you see them in our county. We’ll cover these topics in the classroom, then have a hands-on lab to learn how to identify signs of shot hole borer damage, set up a monitoring program, and sample trees.”

Meeting was adjourned at 7:51 pm.

Next Meeting May 8, 2019

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Minutes March 2019

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Meeting Minutes

March 13, 2019, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by the attendance of directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, Paul Nugent, JoEllen Butler and Christine Heinrichs. Cambria CSD liaison Harry Farmer, CCSD director Donn Howell, NCAC member Tony Church, new Cambria resident Cynthia Snell, and resident Peter Frey also attended.

Public and Director Comments: Crosby announced that ECOSLO’s regular quarterly econetworking meeting will be held Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 7:30 am at the Matchfire office in San Luis Obispo.

Beautify Cambria: Claudia Harmon Worthen, president of Beautify Cambria Association, presented information on BCA’s initiative to achieve certification as an International Dark Sky Community for Cambria. She asked the Forest Committee to write a letter of support.

She also asked for support to create a Demonstration Native Plant Garden on the property owned by the CCSD along Cambia Drive next to Rabobank. Responsibility for continuing maintenance is an obstacle to creating a garden there. Claudia suggested Cambria’s environmental and service organizations could jointly commit to providing maintenance. She can get money to pay for initial plantings, which could include oaks and toyon. Crosby asked her to work up a site plan and return to the Forest Committee.

Minutes of the February meeting were approved as written.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported the account balance at $1,221.04. An upcoming expense will be for Lynn Singer for a professional review the finances.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Website Domain Name Billing: Paul Nugent will get the Forest Committee account transferred to his GoDaddy account, then create a billing for CFC. The Forest Committee needs to maintain the account to preserve the domain name.

Forest Management

Fuel Reduction in Protected Forest Areas: Crosby has not had a response from Fire Chief William Hollingsworth to his inquiry regarding fuel reduction in protected forest areas.

County Log Removal Requirements: Alan Peters of Cal Fire responded to the inquiry regarding log removal via Bruce Gibson’s new assistant, Blake Fixler:

“As far as logs left on-site, PG&E has their internal policy on how they address tree residue but this does not involve the County or the FSC as far as I know.  I’m fairly certain that County Roads removes the whole tree whenever they remove trees from their right-of-way, but you would have to confirm with them.  CCSD Fire would establish the standard as part of their annual weed abatement program.  It’s possible that Chief Hollingsworth could require parcel owners to remove logs as part of that program, and you could ask him.  Other than PG&E, County Roads, and CCSD weed abatement, it’s usually up to the landowner.

“It’s possible that Windsor continues to collect wood residue.  For years they have collected dead trees from arborists and landowners, and they periodically have it ground up into mulch which they can then sell.

“BTW, downed logs will not usually stop a grass fire unless they are saturated.  Fires may not spread as fast as grass when burning downed logs, but all vegetation is still combustible fuel.  The worse thing about logs is that they can catch embers and smolder for a period of time and sometimes smoke is not visible for days.  In general, dead fuel of any kind increases the fire hazard and should be removed from the “lean/green” 30′ zone immediately around buildings.  This is not County policy, this is State law – PRC 4291.”

Crews often leave wood at the side of the road for people to pick up for their own use. Peter Frey said people sometimes add wood to piles in the forest.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Christine Heinrichs reported that:

The Focus Group is planning a Community Preparedness Day May 18. JoEllen Butler is recruiting 60 volunteers for an Americorps forest cleanup project April 6 and 7, 30 for each day. Contact her through the FFRP website to volunteer.

County Fire Safe Council Business Manager Dan Turner reported that the plan from the $8,000 grant for evacuation planning on Lodge Hill will be completed by Cal Poly by June 30. FSFG Chair Dave Pierson said that the CCSD applied for another $100,000 FEMA grant to evaluate evacuation planning for the entire community.

Forest cleanup of dead and dying trees and invasive plants will continue from Cambria Road south on the east side of Highway 1 in mid-April. The corridor from Tin City up toward schools will be done after that.

They discussed using goats for forest cleanup. They are effective but can be expensive because of the need for fencing and goatherders. They do not eat everything. They avoid poison oak and French broom is poisonous to them.

A FEMA course in disaster survival will be offered free May 15-16. Contact CambriaCERT@gmail.com for information.

Cal Fire Chief Alan Peters will resume controlled burning in April with new fire crews.

Jeremy Main showed a kit for fire suppressants that can be sprayed on a house and landscaping for short duration protection. When used by others in a neighborhood, fire could be limited.

Community Alarm system: An emergency AM radio frequency is available to supplement other warning systems. Reverse 911 systems require advance registration of phone numbers with the sheriff’s office.

Cal Fire’s Community Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Report includes 19 recommendations and a list of projects that are immediate, short-term, and long-term. Governor Newsom is authorized funding for wildfire protection.

A Wildland-Urban Interface Institute has been established at Cal Poly.

New Business

Earth Day Fair April 21st, 11-3 pm: The Forest Committee with share a table with FFRP as we did last year, subject to FFRP Education Committee approval. Crosby will submit the application.

Unfinished Business

CCSD Fire Dept Responsibility for Fuel Reduction on Developed Parcels: The financial question of how Cambria will pay for taking over this Cal Fire responsibility has not been resolved. The Fire Safe Focus Group has set up a subcommittee to work on it.

Greenspace / Forest Committee Letter: Dead Tree Removal Practices: Forest Committee directors are asked to review the Forest Practice Act for items that do not apply to Cambria and compare its provisions to the Cambria Forest Management Plan.

The Forest Practice Act and Rules can be accessed at www.calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt_forestpractice. Select 2019 Forest Practice Rules and Act under Forest Practice More Info. Interesting sections include Fuelbreak / Defensible Space on page 55, Harvesting Practices and Erosion Control on page 64, Wildlife Protection Practices on page 112, and Coastal Commission Special Treatment Areas on page 119.

Public and Director Comments:

Crosby referred those attending to the Forest Committee website for information.

JoEllen announced that the annual Wildflower show will be held April 13-14 at the Vets Hall.

Paul said that it’s easy to pull french broom at this time of year, after the rains. JoEllen offered FFRP’s pullers, weed wrenches, which are available to the public. Crosby pointed out that before it develops viable seed, it can be left on the ground. Otherwise, seed heads can be clipped off and disposed of in plastic bags in the garbage. Laura said that oxalis can be pulled now before it forms bulbs.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm
Next Meeting April 10, 2019

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Minutes February 2019

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes February 2019

February 13, 2019, 6:30 PM Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

The meeting was called to order and a Quorum established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler of FFRP, Julie Jorgenson, and Christine Heinrichs. Also in attendance were Harry Farmer, CCSD liaison, Donn Howell, CCSD director, Brad Seek, director emeritus, and Cambrians Tori and Linda Poppenheimer.

Public and Director Comments: Linda Poppenheimer said she read notice in the paper about Rick Hawley’s talk at the January meeting After attending his talk, she bought 20 seedlings and wrote this blog post, https://greengroundswell.com/mother-nature-needs-our-help-lets-plant-trees/2019/02/11/.

Christine Heinrichs reported that she attended the Eco SLO Networking event in January. Over 75 groups are working on various environmental issues. Although the meeting is in SLO at 7:30 am, it was well worth attending. She will send details of the next meeting, March 13, as they are posted.

FFRP will hold a Ranch walk with Cal Fire speaker Alan Peters February 16, weather permitting. Call 927-2202 to reserve a spot, limit 25 people. The annual Wildflower Show will be April 13-14. Americorps volunteers will do a project for the Ranch.

Minutes of January Meeting were approved with one change.

Treasurer’s Report: Account balance $1,221.04.  Rick’s talk brought in $117. All grant money has been spent. Directors should keep projects in mind for next year’s Cambria Community Council grant application.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Website Domain Name Renewal: Paul Nugent will report at the March meeting.

Forest Management

Fuel Reduction in Protected Forest Areas: Crosby and Laura Swartz have discussed enforcement of those regulations on lots under conservation protection. Wetlands are protected under separate regulations, as addressed in Section 4, Forest Treatment Prescriptions and Techniques, of the Cambria Forest Management Plan, http://cambriaforestcommittee.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Cambria_Forest_Management_Plan_4_02.pdf Governor Gavin Newsom has promised $1 billion in grants for forest health. The focus is on fire danger.

CFD has applied for a grant to remove invasive vegetation from the canyon along Burton Drive.

County Log Removal Requirements: JoEllen expressed concern that Cal Fire will prohibit leaving downed trees lying on the forest floor. Alan Peters of Cal Fire responded to an email inquiry that CFD is responsible for policy in Cambria, but that state law PRC 4291 specifies that “dead fuel of any kind increases the fire hazard and should be removed from the ‘lean/green’ 30′ zone immediately around buildings.” JoEllen will continue to pursue the question.

New Business

Discuss Greenspace / Forest Committee Letter:

Crosby felt the draft letter regarding Dead Tree Removal was too general. Cal Fire works under the Forest Practice Act, writing a Timber Harvest Plan rather than a CEQA Environmental Review to guide their project. He requested directors compare the Forest Practice Act and the Cambria Forest Management Plan for items that do not apply to Cambria.

The Forest Practice Act and Rules can be accessed at www.calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt_forestpractice. Select 2019 Forest Practice Rules and Act under Forest Practice More Info. Interesting sections include Fuelbreak / Defensible Space on page 55, Harvesting Practices and Erosion Control on page 64, Wildlife Protection Practices on page 112, and Coastal Commission Special Treatment Areas on page 119.

Unfinished Business

CCSD Fire Dept Defensible Space Program: The Cambria Fire Department and Cal Fire continue to discuss transferring Cal Fire’s responsibility for inspection of developed lots to the CFD. Cal Fire doesn’t have enough men and money to inspect lots, and its enforcement power is weak, with a maximum $100 fine. CFD has a Weed Abatement Program for undeveloped lots and better enforcement capability. CFD can hire contractors to perform work and bill the lot owner. CFD would need additional funding to take on the additional responsibility. Transferring authority to enforce can raise legal questions. The subject will be on the Fire Safe Focus Group agenda.

Agenda Items for Next Meeting

Beautify Cambria Association: BCA president Claudia Harmon Worthen will present the Dark Skies Initiative and a possible landscaping project at the March 13 meeting. Laura will contact.

Public and Director Comments: Crosby will distribute information on the FFRP docent walk. Christine Heinrichs will attend the Fire Safe Focus Group meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 7:42 pm.

Next Meeting March 13, 2019

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Minutes January 2019

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes January 2019

January 9, 2019, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by attendance of directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, Julie Jorgenson, Paul Nugent, JoEllen Butler of FFRP, and Christine Heinrichs. Cambria CSD director Harry Farmer, liaison to the Forest Committee, and Gordon Heinrichs also attended.

The meeting began with Rick Hawley speaking on “Importance of Planting Monterey Pines.” About 20 people attended. See separate report.

Minutes of the December Meeting were approved as written.

Laura Swartz gave the Treasurer’s Report: $750.04 in December was increased to$1,204, by directors’ $450 in donations to defray the cost of insurance.

Sub-Committee Reports

Website Domain Name Renewal: Paul contacted Amanda to change the account to the Cambria Forest Committee. There will be a small cost to create a GoDaddy account.

Fire Safe Focus Group meeting: The Fire Safe Council has been successful in getting grants: The SRA Cambria East Village Tree Mortality grant in the amount of $199,976, which expires 3/10/2019 and is nearly completed at this time, intended to maintain the fuel break above Bridge Street; The Greenhouse Gas Cambria Health Care grant, which began 12/01/15 and expires 12/30/2019. This grant total was $498,736 and as of 11/10/2018 there is $253,423 remaining. This grant funded the broom removal and will continue to do so until 12/30/2019 or the money is expended; and the Monterey Pine Tree Mortality grant, $1.8 million. Fire Chief William Hollingsworth has been invited to apply for two additional grants, totaling about $80,000, to remove dead vegetation (fuel) from the other side of Highway 1 corridor, east side Burton to Cambria Drive, and the canyon area between the low income housing and Tin City.

Timber Harvest Permits for the work will be issued under the Forest Practice Act. The Forest Committee will pursue information as to when public hearings will be held.

Cambria CSD is considering whether the Cambria Fire Department should take over responsibility for inspecting developed lots from Cal Fire, as well as its current responsibility for vacant lot weed abatement. Discussion as to how the CFD can handle additional responsibility. Fire hydrant inspections have not yet been completed. Lots are inspected once a year, when twice could result in better weed reduction. CSD Director Harry Farmer suggested funding could come from Cal Fire, SRA fees and the Cap & Trade funds.

Farmer noted that larger houses, approved by the County, which receives fees based on square footage, require more trees to be removed. Director Julie Jorgenson reported that he insurance company rates fire risk based on population density. Director Paul Nugent said, “Paradise redefined how people look at wildfire,” referring to the Camp Fire, which burned during November 2018, destroying the Northern California town of Paradise.

New Business            

Mel Dorin has appealed a Planning Commission MUP approval of a separate structure. A public hearing will be held before the Board of Supervisors February 5. See attached documents.

Beautify Cambria Association has applied for a grant to improve the lot around Rabobank. The application does not account for continuing maintenance. With additional support, this project could be worthwhile. It needs a clearer plan with follow-up.

JoEllen Butler reported that the county may be contemplating changes that would prohibit logs being left on the ground. Logs could be required to be cut into sections and set on end. How the piles of waste on Winsor Trucking property will be disposed of needs to be determined. The Forest Committee will ask Supervisor Bruce Gibson’s new legislative assistant, Blake Fixler, bfixler@co.slo.ca.us, for further information.

The meeting, shortened because of the special speaker, adjourned at 8:45.

Next Meeting February 13, 2019

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Minutes December 2018

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes December 2018

December 12, 2018, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

Meeting was called to Order with a Quorum of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Julie Jorgenson, Paul Nugent, JoEllen Butler, Nancy Anderson and Christine Heinrichs. Also in attendance were Laurel Stewart; Tony Church, Peter Frey, Mike Walsh representing the Fire Safe Focus Group, Alan Peters of Cal Fire, Dan Turner, business manager of the county Fire Safe Council , Donn Howell, CCSD director, and Harry Farmer, CCSD representative.

Public and Director Comments

Tony Church said that the Cambria Fire Department has serviced only five fire hydrants this month, a disappointing lack of progress. Fire hydrants that are newly painted indicate that they have been serviced.

Minutes of September and November Meetings were approved unanimously with one addition to September, Nancy Anderson as representative of Greenspace.

Treasurer’s Report:

Laura Swartz reported the account showed $805.38 last month. Two checks were written, one to Amanda Rice to reimburse her $35.34 for the domain name, and $20 to Crosby to reimburse for state filing, leaving $750.04. Directors are encouraged to donate to the Forest Committee to defray the cost of our Directors and Officers liability insurance premium.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Distribution of Invasive Weed Guide: The concerned Leimert residents who got involved over the pile burning may be interested in acquiring the Guide. Mike Walsh has a list of names and contact information from the Cambria Fire Safe Focus Group.

Website Domain Name Renewal: Paul Nugent will investigate to get the domain name renewal billed to The Cambria Forest Committee.

Forest Management

Fuel Reduction in Protected Forest Areas: the guidelines will be rolled into the CCSD Fuel Reduction Program, for lots not near a structure.

Dead Tree Removal Practices Letter: Alan Peters commented that some points were not fully accurate; Two additional grants provide a total of $2.5 million for fuel reduction and boundaries can be extended as a result, with three different performance periods. Over 700 acres will be treated, from Highway 46 to Hearst Ranch. Millable trees will be stacked on the ground, and others chipped, masticated, or burned. As much wood as possible will be turned into lumber, to sequester the carbon. Peters will contact private land owners to get their permission and cooperation.

An additional definition of diseased trees should cover more pests and pathogens, such as western gall rust and dwarf mistletoe. Another definition for Infested tree could be added.

Treatment for French broom includes retreatment with selective herbicides in a two-year cycle for ten years, until it is eliminated. The range is being reduced. He disputed the claim that French broom had gotten worse after the fuel break was masticated. Harry suggested pulling in the spring, after rain has softened the ground.

All methods of invasive plant removal will be considered, including controlled burn and goats.

The goal of a healthy forest will be pursued with restocking, using seed form UC Davis’ collection and Rick Hawley’s Greenspace stock. Peters wants to work with Greenspace to plan for seedlings to be available. Grant money is available for seeds and seedlings. Seed scattering will also be used.

Dan Turner said that the project requires that a Registered Forester supervise the project, which will comply with the Forest Practice Act, the equivalent of CEQA. “The project is not to log the forest,” he said. “It’s strictly forest health and public safety.”

Laurel Stewart suggested planting understory shrubs, such as toyon, coffeeberry, sticky monkey flower, poison oak. French broom and a thick layer of pine needles prevents native shrubs from revegetating the forest. Fire is the most effective at killing the seeds and allowing native plants to grow. JoEllen Butler reported that FFRP has planted thousands of pine trees on the Ranch. Volunteers pull weeds there. The Forest Committee may be able to encourage residents not to plant invasives and to organize volunteer groups to pull weeds.

“I hope we can keep the pine forest propagating itself,” Peters said. “It’s converting to oak woodlands. We’re trying to keep it in pine forest.”

Report on Pile Burning, Cambria Pines Road

Dan Turner met with concerned local residents regarding the burn piles. Cambria Pines Road was chosen for treatment because they determined that it is an evacuation route that was not survivable in the event of fire unless it was cleared. Rain and cooperative winds allowed the piles to be burned without incident. Laura had a photo of singed trees, which Peters said would almost certainly survive. “It’s an aesthetic issue, not a tree health issue,” he said. “If a tree dies, we can fix that. Put the blame on french broom.”

Peters said crews are also falling hazardous trees, first around the perimeter and then in the interior. Wood is left in places available to the public for firewood.

New Business

Discuss CCSD Fire Dept Defensible Space Program:

This issue is on the CCSD’s Agenda, to consider whether the Cambria Fire Department should take over defensible space inspections and enforcement that are now Cal Fire’s responsibility. Crosby will speak on the subject at the CCSD meeting.

This item led to discussion of other subjects. Fire insurance availability and costs are affected by community conditions as well as individual fire risk. New construction materials and methods are more fire-resistant. Existing houses can be made more fire-resistant by retrofitting to prevent embers from entering, replacing wood shakes, siding and roofs with fire-resistant materials. Fiscalini Ranch’s access road can be opened and assist in evacuation. Proposed new residential construction raises the issue of evacuation, as most of the lots on the Water Wait list are on Lodge Hill, which has only two evacuation routes, and they intersect.

Dan Turner reported that Cal Poly is creating a traffic model of how residents might evacuate from Lodge Hill.

Cutting weeds twice a year could reduce infestation if the weeds were cut before they set seeds.

Agenda Items and speakers: Rick Hawley will be the speaker for the next meeting, January 9, 2019.

Meeting adjourned 8:50 pm.

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Minutes November 2018

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes November 2018

November 14, 2018

TIME:  6:30 PM

LOCATION:  Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

  • Call to Order and Establish a Quorum

Director Swartz nominated Paul Nugent as director.  Elected by ballot 5-0.

Directors present:  Crosby Swartz, Laura Swartz, Julie Jorgensen, Paul Nugent, Harry Farmer (CCSD), Art Van Ryan (Greenspace)

Guests present:  Casey Nugent, Donn Howell, Peter Frey, Tony Church, Karen Dean, Glynda Hopkins, Brenda Gale, Elizabeth Ehlers, John Ehlers, Susan Kersey, Bill Machado, Marilyn Machado, Bill Seavey

  • Public and Director Comments

Discussion of Cal Fire pile burning of 450 piles of French Broom in progress along Cambria Pines Road and adjacent neighborhoods.  Residents expressed concerns about safety, inhaling smoke, scorching adjacent trees and piles left smouldering or burning unattended.  Alternate disposal methods discussed included hauling away, use of burn cages and use of air curtain burners.  Glynda agreed to contact Chief Hollingsworth (Cambria Fire), Alan Peters and Alex Greg (Cal Fire) and Dan Turner (Fire Safe Council).

Concerns also were expressed about the proposed use of Roundup herbicide to control French Broom resprouts in the future.

  • Approve Minutes of September Meeting

Tabled to December meeting.

  • Treasurer’s Report

Beginning balance: $1435.60, minus $114 for order of trifold flyers and $516 for Directors and Officers liability insurance premium.  Closing balance $805.38

5.0  Sub-Committee Reports

5.1  Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Distribution of Invasive Weed Guide – no report

Educational Projects – no report

5.2 Forest Management

Dead Tree Removal Practices Letter – no report

6.0  Report from Fire Safe Focus Group

6.1   Grant Projects Planning

No meeting this month.  Shirley Bianchi stepping down as chairperson.

7.0  New Business

7.1  New Tri-fold Printing Order

Complete.  See Treasurers report.

8.0  Unfinished Business

8.1  Nominating Committee / Officer Elections

Elected the following by ballot:

Chairman:  Crosby Swartz 6-0

Vice Chairperson:  Jo Ellen Butler 6-0

Secretary:  Christine Heinrichs 6-0

Treasurer:  Laura Swartz 6-0

8.2  Director Liability Insurance

Complete.  See Treasurers report.

8.3  Fuel Reduction in Forest Areas

Tabled to December meeting.

9.0  Agenda Items and Speakers for Upcoming Meetings

Rick Hawley will speak at the January meeting.

10.0  Public and Director Comments

Chairman Swartz announced the passing of Don Canestro, Rancho Marino Manager

11.0  Adjournment

Next Meeting December 12, 2018

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Minutes September 2018

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes September 2018

September 12, 2018, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

The Meeting was called to order at 6:40 PM with a Quorum: Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler and Julie Jorgenson. Also attending were Donn Howell, candidate for Cambria CSD board; Harry Farmer, CCSD Liaison to the Forest Committee; Laurel Stewart, NCAC representative; Nancy Anderson, Greenspace representative; Brad Seek; Peter Frey; and new resident Paul Nugent.

August Meeting Minutes were approved with some changes, to be forwarded to Secretary Christine Heinrichs for revision.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz, Treasurer, reported the account balance is $1,435.60 Balance with no outstanding debits, and no grant money left from the Community Council.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations:

  1. Director and Officer Liability Insurance: The application was sent off today.     Crosby plans to get together with the insurance agent to discuss.
  2. Cambria Community Council Grant Application: We will thank them for what they have done in the past – they fund a lot of projects.

A future grant application could be submitted to fund reforesting the plot.

Considerable discussion on this topic with directors and community suggestions. Among the comments/suggestions:

An educational project would tie in with an environmental class at the middle school. Such a project would need to fit with the school curriculum and qualify for credit. We should ask teachers and students what they would like, perhaps offer choices, such as collecting seeds.

Forest Management

Dead Tree Removal Practices Letter:

Fire Safe Council has 4 grants, one for Cambria.  Rick Hawley (Greenspace) and Christine working with CFC are preparing position paper on good practices for tree removal. Forest management: concern about and suggested focus on French Broom, dead tree removal. Most of the work is scheduled for Covell Ranch. Heritage trees need to be preserved. A biological survey should be done first.

FFRP completed work on road uphill toward Huntington

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group

Grant Update

Dave Pierson, Cambria CSD liaison to the Fire Safe Focus Group reported that weed abatement should be done twice a year, and better methods must be found.

Cal Fire and Cambria Fire Department work together. Cal Fire handles enforcement, including developers, for reasonable enforcement.

At the October meeting, we will discuss exemptions, including individual requirements for wetlands conservation easements, which are not “one size fits all;” the requirement for 100 feet of defensible space 100 feet. Director Julie Jorgenson noted that in Cambria houses are closer to each other than that.

Reminder letters need to be sent to property owners

Removal of invasive plants

Dan Turner gave the Fire Safe Focus Group an update on new grants, targeting a two-month window.  Some retired firefighters are available to do inspections for flexible ember proofing and to spot fires.

The grant requires a new timber harvest plan, for which public meetings will be held and public comments accepted. A new policy allows the State to advance money rather than reimburse.

Members discussed adding new red flag warning signs or placards that could be displayed at West Main and Highway 1, indicating Fire Danger warnings, None to Extreme.

Focus on French Broom:  Some residents are planting French broom. The Committee could place an outreach ad warning people not to plant it.

New Business

Nominating Committee should be formed to organize Officer Elections and review the bylaws.

Unfinished Business

Director Liability Insurance: Crosby will meet with the agent.

Fuel Reduction in Forest Areas for developed lots. Fire Chief Hollingsworth agrees this doesn’t apply in Fern Canyon:  Poison Oak issue, addressed after fire season is over. Homeowners need simple and straight-forward instructions

Agenda Items and Speakers for Upcoming Meetings:

Rick Hawley – need to decide on topic, could speak on current grant application

Others:  Cal Poly?

October 4th 218 protest: The Forest Committee can address how the Rate Increases will affect tree-related issues

North Coast Area Plan:  The Forest Committee an provide information on tree planting.

Public and Director Comments :  Those attending asked Donn Howell questions about his platform and related issues.

The meeting was Adjourned at 8:50 pm.

 

Next Meeting October 10, 2018

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Minutes August 2018

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.
Sub-Committee Reports

​​​            Liability Insurance Application: Laura and Crosby will meet with the local insurance agent to get details. Directors will contribute to pay.

Forest Management
​​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.

Prescribed Burns

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

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Minutes July 2018

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes July 2018
July 11, 2018, 6:30 PM
Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by the attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, and Christine Heinrichs. Harry Farmer attended as CCSD representative, Nancy Anderson of Greenspace, and private citizen Brad Seek.
Public and Director Comments
The June meeting at which Dr. Matt Ritter spoke was well attended by over 80 people. An account of his talk is posted on the Forest Committee web site, http://cambriaforestcommittee.org/documents-2/californias-iconic-plants/.

The Minutes of the May Meeting were approved with two corrections: The name Lynn Soborn in Pasadena, and the balance in the Treasurer’s report, which should be $1,457.60.
Treasurer’s Report Laura Swartz: Current balance $1,435.60. A check for $100 was sent to Judy Martinez for her assistance on the Spanish translation of the iNaturalist Guide to Invasive Weeds. Attendees at the June meeting donated $78.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations: Dr. Ritter’s talk report.

Forest Management:

The County informed the Forest Committee of routine tree trimming, message follows. They do a good job and the Forest Committee is pleased to be included. We will maintain these contacts for future communication.

The County of San Luis Obispo Department of Public Works will begin routine tree trimming and vegetation removal alongside County-maintained roads in Cambria.  Work is scheduled to begin this week, by County road crews, and is expected to continue throughout the summer.  No road closures are anticipated.

This routine trimming work is being done, in part, to support the County’s scheduled surface treatment project in 2019, in addition to providing clearance for over-size vehicles such as delivery trucks, school busses, fire and emergency vehicles.

All trees and vegetation on County-maintained roads are being inspected for maintenance, in compliance with County Public Improvement Standards, M-5a. Trimming and removals are made on a case-by-case basis.  All work will be done under the direction of an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Master Arborist. County Best Management Practices (BMP’s) will be followed, including measures to restrict the spread of pathogens.

For more information, please feel free to contact Mark Tabares at (805) 781-4354

Joshua Roberts   
Transportation Division   
Public Works, County of San Luis Obispo
Tel: (805) 788 – 2345 | An APWA Accredited Agency


Forest Manager Duties and Funding
: The grant in which funding was included for a Forest Manager was not approved. We will continue to seek opportunities to create this position.

Draft Guidelines for Fuel Reduction:

Most of the existing guidelines for the 2018 Weed Abatement Program do not apply to Fern Canyon. As written, they could allow workers to weed-whack all vegetation. The CCSD web site has incorrect information posted. Weed Abatement should leave tree seedlings and ferns and cut the grass around them. Crosby drafted comments that describe more appropriate methods for Fern Canyon posted here. He has discussed with Fire Chief Bill Hollingsworth, who is amenable to the refinements.

Prescribed Burns: Cal Fire has discussed doing more prescribed burns. They add tons of CO2 and particulates to the air and damage the understory. The Forest Committee asks members and other interested residents to review the Vegetation Treatment Program Environmental Impact Report, http://bofdata.fire.ca.gov/board_committees/resource_protection_committee/current_projects/vegetation_treatment_program_environmental_impact_report_%28vtpeir%29/.

An organization critical of the EIR posts its alternative view at http://www.californiachaparral.com/threatstochaparral/helpcalfireeir.html

The goal is to reduce catastrophic fires. Although no burns are planned locally, the Forest Committee should be knowledgeable about the report and prepared for future discussion.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: No Forest Committee members attended. The Fire Safe Focus Group’s agenda is reduced and the group will meet only once a month in future.

New Business

Review New Permit Applications: The Forest Committee is still not receiving new permit applications. NCAC’s Land Use Committee is good at reviewing them and sharing information with the Forest Committee.

Unfinished Business

Director Liability Insurance: Laura Swartz will contact Matt Clevenger, local  agent who works with nonprofit insurance. Macky and Macky 772-1799 ex 202 matt@mackey-insurance.com

Agenda Items and Speakers for Upcoming Meetings:

Crosby suggested that the Forest Committee could feature short presentations using his new projector at future meetings. All suggestions welcome.

Members are encouraged to propose projects suitable for Cambria Community Council grants.

The Cambrian hasn’t posted local meeting dates recently. Christine Heinrichs will check on that and post meetings to social media.

Christine Heinrichs distributed copies of the Cary Institute on Ecosystem Studies Tipsheet on Tree-Smart Trade, to reduce importation of forest pests, https://www.caryinstitute.org/science-program/research-projects/tree-smart-trade

Public and Director Comments:

ECO-SLO is hosting upcoming networking events: “The goal of these networking gatherings is to provide a platform for leaders of environmentally-minded organizations to connect, network, and share ideas about collaboration.”

The next event will be September 12, followed by November 14, 7:30-9am at French Hospital’s Copeland Pavilion (3rd floor).

Free online RSVP: https://bpt.me/3522449. Please RSVP online.  Your RSVP ensures enough breakfast treats & coffee.

Contact: Mary A. Ciesinski, Executive Director, ECOSLO – Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo, (805) 544-1777, cell ​(​805) 550-2952, ecoslo.org.

Possible future speakers: Jenn Yost, director of Cal Poly’s Robert F. Hoover Herbarium; Don Canestro of Rancho Marino; Miranda Canestro of Cuesta College; Rick Hawley of Greenspace.

Ralph Covell would like additional copies of Tales of the Cambria Woods. The publication is available as a free download on the Forest Committee website, http://cambriaforestcommittee.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/TalesCambriaWoods.pdf. Greenspace has some copies.

Nancy Anderson has noticed signs of pitch pine canker on her pine trees. Lack of water weakens trees.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:26 pm.

Next Meeting August 8, 2018

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