CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
December 9, 2020, 6:30 PM
Zoom.com Video Teleconference
Chair Crosby Swartz called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm. A Quorum was established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Bob Fountain, Julie Jorgenson, and Christine Heinrichs. CSD board liaison Harry Farmer and CSD director Donn Howell also attended. Paul Nugent notified Crosby that he will be moving and will not continue as a director or as secretary. Crosby will make Zoom meeting arrangements. Christine will continue to take notes and write minutes until a replacement is found.
Approve Minutes of November Meeting: Minutes for November and December meetings will be reviewed at the January 2021 meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported the balance is $762.60. There are no bank charges or outstanding checks.
Crosby and Laura have acquired DVD copies of the PBS Age of Nature Series. He will look into showing it at a meeting and can loan it out to individuals.
Transfer of Development Credits / Lodge Hill Restoration Program: Crosby and Christine will organize documents and links.
The CambriaCa Newsletter Calendar: The calendar lists upcoming meetings. We can also write articles on separate subjects.
Forest Management, Forest Safe Focus Group
Village Lane Project County Waiver: Crosby will follow up with Dan Turner and the county regarding the project description. Dan Turner said at the Fire Safe Focus Group meeting that the Fire Safe Council felt that Governor Newsom’s Executive Order gave them authority to carry out work outside the permitting process, and the county agreed that the project was exempt. Crosby will continue to pursue the Exemption Letter Turner said the county had written.
Regarding replanting, Turner said they will observe how much natural regrowth occurs before replanting. He said that the area is overstocked now. The Forest Committee would like to know who makes that determination. If a county permit had been issued, replanting requirements would have been specified in the permit.
Six private landowners were involved in the Village Lane Project.
Bob Fountain said that the situation illustrates the importance of having a Forest Ecologist who can monitor fuel reduction projects. The county has an Environmental Coordinator. Crosby will contact that person regarding the environmental consequences of fuel reduction projects.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group:
Small projects are going on around town, removing pampas grass and broom. The cuttings are being kept in piles awaiting favorable burning conditions.
Former Cambia Fire Department Chief Mark Miller, who moved to Colorado when he retired, has died. He was a friend to the Forest Committee and served as a director, attending meetings regularly. Crosby will invite Chief William Hollingsworth to send a CFD representative to Forest Committee meetings.
Appointment of Interim Secretary: Christine will continue as we look for someone to fill that position.
Discussion of Forest Manager Tasks and Qualifications: Discussion of ways to fill the position, such as a CSD Facilities Manager with training in Forest Ecology, or a member of the Fire Department with such training. A consultant could be hired part time to provide initial training, assessment of current diseased trees, and recommended treatments. Cal Poly professors may be available as consultants. Directors are encouraged to reach out for contacts.
Public and Director Comments:
Bob Fountain: Greenspace planted another 1,000 seedlings on the hillside at Washburn Campground. State Parks will provide watering until it rains. Greenspace is arranging to restore Monterey Pine trees to the west side of Highway 1 at Lone Palm Road. Golden Gate Park is happy with their grove of Monterey Pines and ordered another 200 seedlings.
Crosby said that the CSD will meet to elect officers for 2021 on Thursday. The voters support for Harry Farmer indicates community support for respecting the environment and living within natural resources.
Donn Howell said that having a job description and specifics of what a Forest Ecologist would do would support the district in making a decision to fill that position. The district, FFRP, Greenspace and the Forest Committee need to confer to advocate for the forest. The SLO Land Conservancy may be able to assist.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15.
Next Meeting January 13