Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
May 14, 2003 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Elizabeth Crosson, Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen, Bill Robertson (Chair)
Members Absent: Anthony Kerwin
Staff Present: Nancy Slocum, Pieter Smeenk
Marty Main (Consultant)
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:35 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: March 12, 2003 minutes approved as submitted.
III. PUBLIC FORUM: Eric Navickas voiced his concern that at Public Workshop II he was not allowed to finish his comments which come from sound scientific grounds. He wanted to say that a Forest Service project 8 or 9 years ago removed 8 million board feet of timer for fuels reduction. He said there was a 50-year history of removing timber in the Ashland Watershed.
IV. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Nomination and Vote on Forest Lands Commission Chair and Vice Chair – Eggers motioned to table this item until later in the meeting. Jensen seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
B. Discussion of Public Comments on City Forest Lands Restoration Project – Robertson thought it best to accept the public comments and have them available for public review. Crosson disagreed with this approach stating that the commission had emphasized the need for public input. The commission owes the public acknowledgement and commission scrutiny. Eggers agreed. Jensen especially valued the input of the SOU students. Robertson asked the commission to reread all the comments and compile topics in need of further discussion. The topics will be discussed at the next meeting.
C. Set City Council Public Hearing Date – Robertson thought the commission should work backwards (with Main’s assistance) in order to be on the ground by next winter. Main said the field work will take the summer. He sees major differences between the lower parcel and Winburn. He thought management of the two parcels could be separated. The lower parcel is in rapid decline. In addition, this would allow more careful consideration of Winburn. He will have info on the lower parcel in July or August. He will have give additional detail at the next meeting and emphasized the need for more commission and public field trips.
Jensen would like all City Councilors to attend at least one field trip. He commented on the lack of pubic input citing several possible explanations: few people care, poor public relations, the proposal was well done enough that people were comfortable with it. Eggers added a cultural explanation: “What do I have to offer”? “Let the experts do it.” Liz suggested that people were distracted by recent news events.
Brock joined the meeting at 5:00 PM.
Robertson suggested forming a subcommittee to contact a wide variety of special interest groups and set up specialized field trips. Jensen, Crosson and Robertson volunteered. Navickas, reading the Forest Plan, would like a field trip to the quarry.
Commission set fields trips for the second Tuesday in June, July and August (June 10th, July 8th, August 12th) from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. In addition, one Saturday a month will be designated for tentative specialized field trips. Main will check his calendar for available dates.
D. Potential Commission Comment on the Mount Ashland Expansion – This agenda item is at Crosson’s request. Looking at the commission’s charter, she sees the possibility of the City Council asking for a recommendation. Robertson sees the commission busy with finalizing the Restoration Project. The commission asked Slocum to email Councilor Hearn for his opinion. The commission noted they would need a two to three month lead time to make a comment. Eggers noted that the goals and priorities used for the proposal would be the same for a commission comment.
Brock said that the Memorandum of Understanding with the Forest Service allows the City “full consideration” of any work done in the watershed.
Commission decided the set the public hearing date for August providing Main would be ready.
E. Nomination of Vote on Forest Lands Commission Chair and Vice Chair –Robertson has been Chair of the commission since its inception in 1992. As the commission is in the middle of a large project, Betlejewski nominated Robertson to continue as Chair. Motioned died for a lack of second. Brock nominated Crosson as Chair, but the motion was withdrawn. Eggers nominated Crosson as Chair and Jensen as Vice-Chair, Brock seconded the motion. Vote was 3-3 and therefore failed. Crosson motioned to table this agenda item until the next meeting when all the commissioners were in attendance. Brock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Smeek reported that the Federal Environmental Regulatory Commission (FERC) is requiring more trees be removed in front of Hosler Dam. The tree marking for this project will be complete next week if any commissioner would like to view it. The new waterline associated with this project will be installed next spring.
B. Crosson asked that the Restoration Project document and all public comment be available on the City website under “Forest Commission,” Slocum will ask Ann Seltzer to do this.
C. Commission asked Main to do demonstration markings of at least one acre before the field trips begin.
D. Commission would like staff to report on the status of the Bill Hick’s contract.
VI. REVIEW AND SET COMMISSION CALENDAR / NEXT MEETING
A. Next scheduled meeting was set for Wednesday, May 28, 2003 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.
VII. MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:15 PM