CAMBRIA FOREST COMMITTEE
TO CONSERVE AND MANAGE THE NATIVE FOREST OF CAMBRIA
May 12, 2021, 6:30 PM
Zoom.com Video Teleconference
The meeting was Called to Order and a Quorum established by attendance of Crosby and Laura Swartz, Greenspace representative Bob Fountain, Christine Heinrichs and Cambria CSD liaison Harry Farmer.
Public and Director Comments:
Harry Farmer recommended the NPR interview with Finding the Mother Tree author Suzanne Simard, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/05/04/993430007/trees-talk-to-each-other-mother-tree-ecologist-hears-lessons-for-people-too .
Crosby reported that Kitty Connolly provided information on a training webinar on How to Use the Cal Vegetation Management Program, May 13 and May 20, 9-noon. Support materials are available on the site.
Christine suggested a Frontline documentary on Fire in Paradise, https://www.pbs.org/video/fire-in-paradise-ncamrn/ Aluminum fire blankets could be useful for protection during a wildfire.
Minutes of the April Meeting were approved with one update from Bob.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura reported that the bank balance is $634.60, plus $10 in petty cash. One outstanding bill is anticipated for Lynn Singer’s tax report, which is due May 17. The IRS spreadsheet status is still not corrected. Laura will pursue.
Website Domain Name Administrator: Crosby will transfer from Paul Nugent, small cost involved.
Cal Fire VTP Project Approval Requirements: A Public Works Plan is required in the Coastal Zone. Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District representatives attended Fire Safe Focus Group and reported that they have the authority to put together a Public Works Plan for the Covell Ranch project.
Sudden Oak Death Survey May 15-16:
SOD was reported in water samples from San Simeon Creek. Bob will contact Lisa Emanuelson M.S.
Volunteer Monitoring Coordinator
California Marine Sanctuary Foundation I Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Office: (831) 647-4227
Front Desk: (831) 647-4201
to request adding SOD testing to the annual Snapshot Day, the first Saturday in May. Forest Committee directors are uncertain about whether they will participate this year.
The Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction Program of the Cambria Fire Department continues to list APN numbered lots that are near properties under Conservation Easement or otherwise not appropriate for weed abatement. Crosby and Laura continue to work with Fire Chief William Hollingsworth to remove them from the weed abatement list. Lots in Fern Canyon are surrounded by conserved lots and should not be cut. This subject has been brought to Chief Hollingsworth for the past four years. They will report back on their progress with Chief Hollingsworth.
Broom is growing back. Harry has continued to remove it from Strawberry Canyon. Crosby and Laura are seeking assistance to remove a large broom plant in Fern Canyon. It will need to be cut down and the stump treated to remove it. Small plants are easily pulled, but larger plants can be controlled by removing flowers and seed heads and placing them in green waste.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group:
The group continues to struggle with technology to post Steve Auten’s previous report to the public. Mr. Auten gave another report on the Covell Ranch project, focusing on the history of the ranch. The Public Works plan being prepared by the Upper Salinas-Las Tablas Resource Conservation District for the project has not been presented. FSFG has contacted the Nature Conservancy, which holds the conservation easement on the Covell Ranch.
Harry Farmer has not heard back from his contact with Daniel Bowman at the SLO Land Conservancy. Lack of opportunity for public vetting and comment on forest plans continues to characterize FSFG projects.
Cambria reporter Kathe Tanner has proposed writing columns in The Cambrian on home hardening. She has offered her house as an example.
FSFG applications for grants are due May 19.
The link for State Sen. John Laird’s Virtual Town Hall on Emergency Preparedness and Wildfire Resources with insurance commissioner Ricardo Lara is archived at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/09-comm/Senator-John-Laird.cfm.
Discuss CCSD Forest Management Ad Hoc Committee The CSD Ad Hoc committee on Forest Management will hold another meeting, with invitations to institutional representatives by CSD director Tom Gray. The CSD’s Facilities and Resources Department may be able to allocate some of its $750,000 budget to hire a forest management consultant. FFRP’s current investments and reserves have reached $5 million, but are restricted. Any potential future investment in forest management by FFRP would be for the Preserve area only.
Volunteers accomplish a lot in Cambria. A forest ecologist could organize volunteers to identify problems with dwarf mistletoe and insect damage for treatment.
Greenspace’s 3,000 Tree Initiative has succeeded in planting trees, which are having a healthy survival rate on State Parks land north of Cambria. Bob said that contacts with Mike Walgren at State Parks have been positive.
Camp Ocean Pines Monterey Pines are in poor condition. The camp has struggled financially during the pandemic. Executive Director Andrew Boyd-Goodrich welcomes assistance and may be open to planting replacement trees.
Harry raised the issue of drought, as documented in two Tribune headlined articles in the past week. The Cambria Pines Lodge’s application for increased activities, and additional water use, at the Christmas Market will be discussed at the May 19 NCAC meeting. The permit application was sent to all directors.
Future Agenda Items and Speakers
PBS Age of Nature, NOAA and State Parks Webinars. Laura Swartz suggested inviting the SLO Land Conservancy’s staff ecologist to speak. The SLO Land Conservancy holds the conservation easement on Fern Canyon.
The meeting was Adjourned at 8:24 pm
Next Meeting June 9, 2021