Wednesday, October 01, 2003
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
October 1, 2003 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Jo Anne Eggers,
Stephen Jensen (Chair), Bill Robertson
Members Absent: Anthony Kerwin
Staff Present: Paula Brown, Nancy Slocum, Pieter Smeenk, Keith Woodley
Non Voting Members: Marty Main (Consultant)
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:35 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: September 10, 2003 minutes were approved unanimously with three minor amendments. Brock asked for clarification on the Winburn Parcel motion. Robertson explain the motion was as stated in the minutes.
III. PUBLIC FORUM: No one spoke.
IV. OLD BUSINESS:
Brown was asked by Jensen to comment on Brock’s September 29th email regarding the rare Spruce/Siskiyou/Huckleberry/Nerved Sedge plant community. She explained that the relevant staff issues were in regards to the forest interface, water quality and quantity and potential fire hazard. She saw these issues as within the Commission’s purview. Brock’s memo, although important, didn’t address these particular issues.
Brock thought the issue relevant due to the agreement with the Forest Service to consult with the City on watershed issues and the City’s concern for ecosystem health. He said the topic was closely linked to the Ashland Forest Plan. Brown said that if such a relationship exists, it would be appropriate for the Commission to comment.
Robertson felt completion of the Restoration Project was first priority and questioned the short time frame involved in commenting. Brown said the Council was expected to vote on a recommendation October 7th or October 21st at the latest. Eggers thought Brock’s concerns were identified as “guiding principles” in the draft restoration project and a memo could be easily and quickly put together.
Brock moved that the Commission consider and prepare a simple memo to the City Council recommending that the Mt Ashland Ski Expansion avoid the rare plant community. Eggers seconded it the motion. The motion was denied 3-2.
V. STAFF REPORTS
A. Keith Woodley thanked Kerwin and Betlejewski for meeting with Hicks. The deadline for the geohazard study is two weeks. Woodley reported that Hicks was hesitant to review the marked trees and comment on soil stability. The commission thought it important to get his comments. Hicks looked at the markings in Unit K. Betlejewski’s question was if we loose trees to beetles, how does that affect soil stability?
Keith passed out a draft of the Council Communication for the Restoration Project Public Hearing on October 21st. Tomorrow he will begin drafting the “financial Prospectus.”
B. Since Main’s report is entirely regarding the Restoration Project, Jensen recommended postponing discussion until later in the meeting. Commission agreed.
VI. REVIEW OF PROJECTS PENDING/REQUIRING ACTION – Tabled.
VII. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Restoration Project Draft (10 min)
1. Approval of “Heiner” Insertion – Roberston/Betlejewski moved to accept addition as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
2. Final approval of “Prescribed Burning” for inclusion in Proposal – Robertson/Brock moved to accept Prescribed Burning section with three modifications. Motion passed unanimously.
3. Amalgamation of Winburn Parcel part of Proposal – Betlejewski explained that this draft was meant as a starting point for later discussions. It consists of more background information and how dense stands are different. Jensen asked what additional information was needed before the draft became final. Robertson suggested adding a few sentences indicating the Winburn Parcel was presently being discussed and that it was important to move forward with work on the lower watershed. Commission agreed. Jensen volunteered to bring a draft to the next meeting.
B. Council Presentation
1. Confirm deadlines - Woodley offered a summary of the presentation/public hearing procedure. Woodley presented the commission with a draft Council Communication that will serve as the staff report. He recommended that he, Main and one or two commissions comprise a panel to answer councilor questions after the staff report. Woodley expected the council questions would center on methods and financials. The council would then open the public hearing. After the hearing, the council may ask the panel to answer additional questions. Lastly would be council discussion and final vote on the proposal.
2. Unit Prescriptions – Main handed out the completed prescription Overview and Analysis that contained various pertinent tables. The written summary incorporates silviculture, marking guidelines and justifications. The approach is conservative (not a major intrusion) and will not cure all fire concerns. He marked 183 of 486 acres. Some units were not included for a variety of reasons including no merchantable volume, slope concerns, riparian buffer areas, reserve areas, etc. The project volume is estimated at 460,000 gross board feet of timber. Ecological concerns include the distribution of dead trees within the parcel and within the units. OSHA has strict guidelines on how to work around snags and so unit markings were designed so that the trees removed are clustered. There are two available helicopter landings with distances less than ¾ mile from all trees marked for removal. Estimated logging costs are $215,000 to $244,000. Other costs include road use fees, road maintenance and repair and pretreatment work. Main is hoping to join operations with the Forest Service. Eggers would like an estimate of the “other” costs.
Main suggested commissioners review the document over the next week for additional discussion at next week’s meeting.
Commission moved to extend the meeting five minutes. Passed unanimously.
Woodley will have a rough draft of the budget prospectus for next week’s meeting. He reminded the commission that there is an outstanding $250,000 grant request that may help pay for the restoration work.
Marty asked the commission to think about the question: Should we treat on steeper slopes?
C. Schedule Winburn Hikes – tabled until next meeting.
V. OTHER BUSINESS – Main gave staff a copy of a Unit Prescription section providing silvicultural prescriptions and marking summaries on a unit-by-unit basis. Staff will make copies and mail it to all the commissioners.
VI. REVIEW AND SET COMMISSION CALENDAR / NEXT MEETING
A. Next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8, 2003.
VII. MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:05 PM