Minutes August 2018



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



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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Minutes May 2018



Minutes May 2018
May 9, 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. Nancy Anderson of Greenspace, and CSD director liaison Harry Farmer, Tony Church of NCAC, and Cambria resident Peter Frey.
Public and Director Comments:

Peter Frey shared the Viewpoint he wrote and submitted to The Cambrian.  Discussion of finding a path forward for the forest, hiring a professional forester, and finding the money to pay for forest maintenance.

Harry Farmer reported that he and CSD Director David Pierson met with CSD General Manager Jerry Gruber and District Clerk Monique Madrid to discuss forest maintenance. GM Gruber said he would place the subject of hiring a forest manager, to be paid by a combination of funds from CCSD and FFRP, on the agenda for the May or June CCSD meeting.

San Simeon Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer Recruitment event on May 16 is not suitable for the Forest Committee. Members may attend as individuals.

Laura Swartz suggested encouraging the public to focus on fire safety in the forest: no smoking in the forest, keeping a fire extinguisher available in the kitchen and when using a barbeque.

Minutes of April Meeting were approved as written.
Treasurer’s Report: Laura Swartz reported that as of May 9, the bank balance was $1457.60 including $109.63 from grant, and $185 in sales at the Earth Day event. She paid $135 for the tax report.

Sub-Committee Reports:
Report from Earth Day Fair: Nancy Anderson reported that the event was successful, with over 500 people attending. The Forest Committee shared a booth with FFRP.

Forest Management
Forest Manager Duties and Funding On hold

Sudden Oak Death Survey Report: Christine Heinrichs has listed all the properties surveyed this year, for use in 2019. All trees look great this year. No SOD has been positively identified in SLO County.
Report from Fire Safe Focus Group: Peter Frey reported on a tabletop exercise in disaster response in which he participated in Colorado. First responders and key organizations such as hospitals and service clubs can work with the public to create a plan for all residents to be helpful

Peter has proposed such an event to Fire Chief Bill Hollingsworth and Fire Safe Council Business Manager Dan Turner.

New Business

Fuel Reduction in Forest Areas: Crosby and Laura Swartz are concerned about the Fire Hazard Fuel Reduction list approved by the CCSD at the April meeting, which includes 122 parcels not previously on the list. Most have conservation easements on them. The district does not have a clear consensus on methods of weed removal and disposal. If weeds are whacked too close to the ground, native plants are eliminated and invasives take over.

Greenspace will not hold its Native Plant Workshop and Certification this year.

Unfinished Business

Director Liability Insurance: Laura got a quote from Lynn Soborn in Pasadena which exceeds the $100 a year directors of other local nonprofits pay. She will continue to pursue and answer.

Agenda Items, Speakers and Publicity for Upcoming Meetings:
Matt Ritter Talk and Book Signing, June 13th: Cal Poly biology professor, his new book is California Plants: A Guide to Our Iconic Flora. Christine will write a press release for The Cambrian and post to social media.
Public and Director Comments: Christine will work with Judy Martinez on getting the iNaturalist Guide to Invasive Weeds translated into Spanish.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 pm.

The next meeting will be June 13, 2018. The featured speaker will be followed by a short business meeting.


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Minutes March 2018


Minutes March 2018
March 14, 2018, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

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

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

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

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

Sub-Committee Reports

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

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

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

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

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group

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

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

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

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

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

New Business

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

Unfinished Business

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

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

Agenda Items and Speaker for Next Meeting:

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

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

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Minutes January 2018

Minutes of the January 2018 meeting. PDF posted here.



Minutes January 10 2018 .pdf

January 10, 2018, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

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

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

Minutes of November Meeting approved as amended.

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

Sub-Committee Reports


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

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

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

Forest Management

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

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

Report from Fire Safe Focus Group —  LHMP

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

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

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

New Business

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

Unfinished Business

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

Send Agenda Items and Speaker suggestions to Crosby.

Meeting adjourned at 9:20 pm.

Next Meeting February 14, 2018

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Minutes November 2017


Minutes November 2017
November 8, 2017, 6:30 PM
Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

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

No public comment or questions were presented.

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

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

Sub-Committee Reports

Invasive Weed Guide Publicity. Crosby will check with Kathe Tanner regarding notice in The Cambrian.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Business

The Forest Committee will hold its regular meeting December 13.

Unfinished Business

Coastal Commission Meeting Report: delayed to March meeting.

Resource Management System Revisions: delayed to March meeting

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

Adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Next Meeting December 13, 2017

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Minutes September 2017

Minutes September 2017

September 13, 2017, 6:30 PM

Cambria Rabobank, 1070 Main Street

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

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

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

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

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

Sub-Committee Reports


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

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

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

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

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

Forest Management

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

New Business

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

   Coastal Commission Meeting Topics

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

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

Unfinished Business

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

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

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

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

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.

Next Meeting October 11, 2017

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June 2017 Minutes

Minutes June 2017 posted here.
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
     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



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



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


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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