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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Minutes November 2016

Minutes November 9, 2016

Cambria Forest Committee

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Meeting Minutes

November 9, 2016, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by directors Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, Connie Gannon and Christine Heinrichs. Amanda Rice of CCSD, Nancy Anderson of Greenspace, and Tony Church of NCAC also attended.

Minutes of the October 12 meeting were approved as amended to correct the date of the Cambria Community Council meeting.

Treasurer’s report: Laura Swartz reported $2,149.98 in the account, $495.13 of which is the remains of the 2016 CCC grant. A small bill of $20 to the state is pending.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

    Community Council Grant Meeting: Laura and Christine will attend the November 14 Cambria Community Council meeting and make a three-minute presentation of the Invasive Weed brochure to support the application for a $1,500 grant to publish it in Spanish and in English.

Website report: Amanda Rice made the transition from GoDaddy and the web site migration is now complete.

County Referral Packages: Crosby is still not receiving them but Laurel Stewart of the NCAC Land Use Committee is sharing them with him. Two applications have been submitted:

DRC2016-00024 VAN BEURDEN – Proposed minor use permit for the remodel of an addition to existing single family residence at 5223 Hillcrest Drive.

DRC2016-00022 FISKE – Proposed minor use permit for the construction of an ADA accessible guest house at 2130 Wilton Drive in Cambria.

Discussion raised issues of damage to trees and merging parcels on Hillcrest Drive.

The Wilton Drive guest house will impact an old oak tree that is on the easement between two properties. Tony Church, who sits on the NCAC LUC, offered to share the LUC’s minutes with the Forest Committee. Crosby will write letters sharing the LUC’s recommendations and circulate to Forest Committee directors.

Two other developments of interest to the Forest Committee are the major renovation of Ragged Point and the construction of 25 campsites at the old Air Force base south of Cambria. The site has three wells but also have a pipeline to the Fiscalini water tank. Amanda Rice, newly re-elected to the CSD Board, said she would research water commitments to the site.

Forest Management

Sudden Oak Death Seminar: UC Extension presented a workshop on Sudden Oak Death earlier in the day. Citizen Science is being used to gather samples for testing. SOD can only be diagnosed by lab tests. The SOD Blitz will be scheduled in the Spring and the public invited to participate. SOD has been identified in bay laurel trees along San Simeon Creek north of Cambria but not in any oak trees yet. Connie Gannon felt her question regarding boot and equipment cleaning was not adequately answered in the meeting, so she will contact Kim Corella, Cal Fire Forest Health Specialist for further details.

Endangered Species Status for Monterey Pines: Julie Jorgenson did not attend the meeting. Connie Gannon has not pursued the issue.

Connie looked into the Cal Fire Urban Forestry grants Dan Turner suggested. One must be administered by a district, so she has a call in to District Engineer Bob Gresens. Laura Swartz said that the Buildout Reduction Committee is exploring the possibility of creating an Open Space District. “We are in the beginning stages of trying to find some tools to use,” Laura said.

Free Chipping days will be held December 1st and 2nd. The SOD workshop said that chips that are spread out and dried do not pose any threat of spreading SOD.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: The first Local Hazard Mitigation Plan planning meeting will be held at 10 am Monday, November 14, at the Fire Station. The LHMP will address fire. It is relying on questionable data in the Cambria Community Wildfire Protection Plan regarding the forest, see below. Bruce Fosdike will attend the County Fire Safe Council meeting next week. Contact him if you have anything you would like him to address.

New Business

State Responsibility Area Grant Application:  Connie reported that this grant is germane to Fire Safe Council. Dan Turner wants to schedule a meeting with the Forest Committee.

Unfinished Business

Comment Letter on Draft EIR for Water Supply Project: The Forest Committee did not send comments as a group, but individual directors wrote their own. Laura noted that the EIR takes account only of the few tees on the Emergency Water Plant site, not the effects of the 750 houses to be built if the plant is approved for growth. At least 450 of the 750 houses are on forested lots. “Mitigation measures are needed to offset the loss of trees and native vegetation in these environmentally sensitive areas,” they wrote in their comments. Crosby will scan and circulate the map Laura made showing where lots to be developed are.

Discussion about Cambria Community Wildfire Protection Plan: Connie will write up a critique of the plan, which was done as a Cal Poly class project. Student visited only Liemert, did a drone flyover and used computer modeling to generate theoretical data. Sarah Bisbing is now collecting data on site. The Plan was never presented in Cambria for comment. The Plan is posted on the Forest Committee web site.

Date and Agenda Items for Next Meeting: December 14. Amanda Rice asked the Forest Committee whether the CSD should appoint a CSD director to the Forest Committee. The CSD will make assignments at its December 15 meeting. The Fire Department could also be asked to send a representative.

The meeting was adjourned at 8 pm.

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Minutes October 2016

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

miutes-october-2016

6:30 pm, Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by directors in attendance: Crosby and Laura Swartz, Connie Gannon, Julie Jorgenson, JoEllen Butler, and Christine Heinrichs. Nancy Anderson, Tony Church, Dewayne and Joy Lee, Imkelina Nicolai, Amanda Rice, and Laurel Stewart also attended.

Minutes of the September Meeting were approved as amended.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported no changes to the bank accounts: $2,149.98, total of which $495.13 is the remainder of the Community Council grant.

Sub-Committee Reports

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations: Community Council Grant Application. Laura submitted a grant application to the Cambria Community Council for the Invasive Weeds brochure. Christine Heinrichs is compiling the information for the brochure. They will create a sample for the presentation November 14, 5 pm at Santa Rosa Church. Christine has also found two website/apps for citizen science on invasive weeds: iNaturalist, http://www.inaturalist.org/places/cambria, and What’s Invasive, http://www.whatsinvasive.org/index.cfm. She will pursue setting up accounts on those sites.

Website Report: The domain name has not yet been transferred. Amanda Rice believes it has been done. Christine and Amanda will pursue that.

At Home in the Forest Brochure Distribution: Christine will post as downloadable copy to the website. Connie and JoEllen took more to distribute.

County Permit Referral Packages Not Received: Laurel Stewart is forwarding copies of the county applications from NCAC, since the Forest Committee no longer receives them. Crosby will pursue restoring the connection with the county. Tony Church reported that only one application for construction on Kenneth affects trees and that has carefully preserved the mature oak on the lot and will replace the single tree removed with six seedlings. A major project at Ragged Point will be presented at the next NCAC meeting, Wednesday October 19, 6:30 pm at Rabobank.

Connie does not have any way to track whether those who are required to plant trees for mitigation follow through. NCAC has their recommendations on file but the county has the final word. She will follow up.

Forest Management

  Dr Piirto Presentation to Cambria Lions Club: Crosby and Laura Swartz attended. Dr. Piirto gave an inspirational talk encouraging the Lions Club to save the forest. The Forest Committee and Greenspace will invite him to be a speaker in the future. The Historic Guide Association has invited Sarah Bisbing and Mike Walgren to speak to their January meeting about the section of the forest on Hearst property.

Endangered Species Status for Monterey Pines: Julie Jorgenson will pursue a contact she has at the Sierra Club to learn what has been done in the past and how the process can be pursued in the future.

  Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Fuel Reduction and Forest Restoration Project: The work is completed. Piles of chips will be spread in a work day Saturday, October 15, 9-noon. Meet at the Trenton trailhead.

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Connie Gannon reported that two chipping days have been scheduled, December 1 and 2. The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan has been contracted to Cat 5 Professional Consultants and they will begin work on it soon. Dan Turner said that test plots will be established in the Hearst Ranch section of the forest. Another fuel break will be cut on the north side of East Main and up Bridge Street. Fire Safe Council has applied for grant funding of curtain burners, sophisticated incinerators that burn wood more efficiently.

He met with Connie to suggest that Greenspace and the Forest Committee join forces to apply for grants in the Cal Fire Urban Forest Unit under the State Responsibility Area program. Funding is available for specific tasks to get work done in the forest. Grant funding covers four to five year periods. The application has not yet been released. Connie will follow up.

Public comment: Imkelina Nicolai lives near Covell Ranch. She asked about trees cut down and wood left lying on the ground. Connie said that rotting wood will be left on the ground, freshly cut wood will be reclaimed and milled for lumber, and the balance will either be consumed in the biomass cogenerator or burned in the curtain burner. Amanda said that questions have been raised as to how the biomass will be delivered to the cogen plant. Connie said that Alan Peters of Cal Fire will have responsibility for that and it will be covered by the current grant.

New Business

CSD Candidates Forum: directors were invited to email questions to Crosby to be asked on behalf of the Forest Committee.

Fire Chief Hollingsworth sent a letter regretting that his schedule has a conflict at the Forest Committee’s meeting time but that he is eager to be involved.

Unfinished Business:

Comment Letter on Draft EIR for Water Supply Project 

The previous comment letters regarding the EWS Project are included in the Draft EIR, on the CCSD website. The comment letters are in the section titled “Appendix A Notice of Preparation”. The comment letters start on page 23. Forest Committee page 81. Swartz page 116. Hawley page 122. Heinrichs page 161. Gannon page 163. Webb page 292.

Crosby raised the issue of cost, which is not included in the EIR. “CEQA requires that the public be informed adequately to make a decision,” he said. Laura noted that many of the Wait List positions are in the most heavily forested areas of Cambria. Construction will not only remove trees but will also harm the root systems. Additional infrastructure will also be needed to support increased population. Julie Jorgenson said, “People need to visualize what it will be like.”

Both Crosby and Laura gave public testimony to that effect at the recent public hearing on the EIR.

Discussion about Cambria Community Wildfire Protection Plan: Connie will discuss with Dan Turner the limitations of this document.

Agenda Items and Speaker for Next Month: send suggestions to Crosby.

Adjourned at 8:03 pm

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Minutes 14 September 2016

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE:TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Download a pdf here: minutes-14-september-2016

September 14, 2016

6:30 PM, Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

A Quorum was established by directors attending: Crosby and Laura Swartz, JoEllen Butler, Julie Jorgenson, Christine Heinrichs. Don Canestro of Rancho Marino and his intern, Nicholas Pieper, Tony Church, Nancy Anderson, and Kathe Tanner also attended.

The Minutes of the August meeting were approved as written.

The Treasurer’s report by Laura Swartz is unchanged. All bills are paid and the balance is $2,149.98, including $495.13 of the Community Council grant.

Subcommittee reports:

Education/Planting/Mitigation/Operations

Community Council Grant Application: Laura Swartz would like to apply for a grant to publish a local invasive weed guide. Christine Heinrichs began the project as a Capstone for her California Naturalist certification. The goal is a bilingual hard copy and a downloadable digital version, with an app possible in the future. They will meet to work on the application prior to the October 10 deadline.

Website Report: Domain Name Renewal: Christine will contact GoDaddy directly to transfer ownership of the domain name to the Forest Committee.

At Home in the Forest Brochure: Christine will contact Vari to create a downloadable version of the brochure.

Forest Management

Endangered Species Status for Monterey Pines: Julie Jorgenson reported on discussions with Connie Gannon, executive director of Greenspace. Discussion of the pros and cons of Endangered Species listing through the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Listing can add a layer of difficulty in managing the species, but could focus attention on them and strengthen efforts to fund a Forest Management Plan. The Coastal Commission’s Environmentally Sensitive Areas already gives substantial protection. Other listed species that are native to the Monterey Pine forest require that the forest be protected as habitat. Julie will continue to reach out to the California Native Plant Society and groups in Monterey County for information. The process could help collect data and information on the Monterey Pine forest that would be helpful. She will bring a timeline of the process to the next meeting.

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Fuel Reduction and Forest Restoration Project: JoEllen Butler reported that Test Plot 3 (cut/chip/scatter) was completed.  Dennis White was hired to do Test Plot 1 (cut/lop/scatter) and Test Plot 2 (cut/pile/burn) because the CalFire crews were busy. Some planting will be done in the first plot after the rainy season. Cones will be scattered in the lop and scatter plot. Volunteers moved the piles of chips.

Strawberry Canyon Dead Tree Removal Project: Nancy Anderson reported that the work was done. Rick Hawley may be doing some finishing work. Homeowners are working with Greenspace to keep land cleared.

New Business

Discussion about Draft Environmental Impact Report on EWS: Crosby is not convinced that the draft EIR resolves the issue of lots retired under the Buildout Reduction Plan. He and Laura serve on the current Buildout Reduction Committee. He will convene and electronic meeting for directors to discuss composing a letter of comment regarding issues that pertain to the forest.

Unfinished Business

Discussion about Cambria Community Wildfire Protection Plan: The Forest Committee’s concern is that the plan is being used as the basis for the Timber Harvest Plan being written for Cal Fire. The plan has questionable data and was never subjected to peer or community review. It’s a fire hazard plan being used as a basis for forest management. The plan will be posted to the Forest Committee web site.

Buildout Reduction Committee: Laura reports that the committee is relying on inconsistent information regarding which and how many lots have been retired from development. The Buildout Reduction Plan is supposed to be what is conserved in the future, not what has been conserved in the past.

Discussion of Weed Abatement Program in Forest Preserve: Although no real agreement has been reached on weed abatement on lots mistakenly listed and mowed, many lots have been removed from the list. instead of mowing the hillside lots, they mowed an eight-foot strip down the center. Further action deferred until next year.

County Permit Referrals: The Forest Committee is no longer receiving permit referrals. Tony Church said that NCAC had received at least four in the last month. Crosby will pursue getting the Forest Committee reinstated for permit notification.

Forestry professor Doug Piirto will speak at the Lions Club meeting September 27 at Joslyn Center 6:30 pm.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.

Next meeting October 12, 2016.

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Minutes August 2016

CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE

TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA

Minutes, August 10, 2016

minutes-august-2016

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

The meeting began with guest speaker Dr. Sarah Bisbing, assistant professor, Forest Ecology & Silviculture, NRES Department at California Polytechnic State University. She spoke on research report, Integrating social & ecological needs when managing endemic species: A case study of Cambria’s Pinus radiata forest, written by Dr. Bisbing and two graduate students, Kevin Hurt, and Matt Terzes. Her PowerPoint presentation is posted on the Forest Committee web site. About 50 people attended.

The business meeting was held after Dr. Bisbing’s talk. A Quorum was established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Connie Gannon, Julie Jorgenson, JoEllen Butler, and Christine Heinrichs. Nancy Anderson, Ann Cichowski, Vari MacNeil, and Kathe Tanner of The Cambrian also attended.

Minutes of the July Meeting were approved with minor revisions.

Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported no changes from July: All bills are paid and the balance is $2,149.98, including $495.13 of the Community Council grant.

Sub-Committee Reports

Website Report: Christine will connect with Vari to get the At Home in the Forest brochure in a format that will be downloadable from the web site.

                   Forest Management: Information for Dr Douglas Piirto speech to Cambria Lions Club: Christine will contact Dr. Piirto again and ascertain whether he needs audio-visual equipment for the September 27 Lions Club meeting, 6 pm at the Joslyn Center.

                 Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Fuel Reduction and Forest Restoration Project: JoEllen Butler reported no work is going on because all the Cal Fire personnel are off fighting fires. She has planned a seed collection day September 17, 9-noon, to be led by Holly Sletteland. They will discuss the ethics of collecting in the wild and how to process and store the seed.

Strawberry Canyon Dead Tree Removal Project: Connie Gannon reported that Buddy Campos has completed five days of the ten-day work project. He is clearing a total of 50 feet around the trails. Erosion control is included. More planting will be done, probably in the spring. The work is being paid for by $23,000 from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant

New Business

Discussion about Cambria Community Wildfire Protection Plan: All Forest Committee members have been sent electronic copies and are asked to review it prior to the September meeting for discussion. Connie Gannon raised questions as to whether incorrect data has been included because the plan was written by Cal Poly students who based their conclusions for the entire forest only on Liemert and did not talk to Greenspace or FFRP. No formal comment period was held to solicit comment.

Unfinished Business

Discussion of Weed Abatement Program in Forest Preserve:  Crosby Swartz continues to work with Fire Chief Hollingsworth and Fire Engineer Ryan Maloney to get lots properly identified and improve weed abatement practices to reduce invasive weeds and encourage growth of native plants.

The Tree Mortality Task Force: Connie Gannon reported that it is an organization of counties and other government agencies. Cambria does not need to be a member to participate in grant funding. Supervisor Bruce Gibson has met with Assembly Member Katcho Achadjian and State Senator Bill Monning to discuss applying for grant funding.

Public comment:

Connie Gannon reported that in the Fire Safe Focus Group meeting CSD Director Greg Sanders suggested that all dead trees be designated as Public Nuisances. Dan Turner cautioned that declaring public nuisances without funding to address them could have unintended consequences.

Agenda Items for September:

Ann Cichowski suggested that the Forest Committee explore the possibility of having Monterey Pine recognized as an Endangered Species. Dr. Bisbing noted in her talk that Monterey Pine is one of the few plants on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Adjourned at 9:10 pm.

Next Meeting September 14, 2016

 

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