ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
JUNE 14, 2000, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Jo Anne Eggers, Frank Betlejwski, Fred Binnewies, John Morrison (Acting Chair)
Members Absent: Eric Schehen, Richard Brock, Bill Robertson, David Fine (Council Laision)
Staff: Keith Woodley, Pieter Smeenk, Nancy Slocum
Guests: Marty Main; Bill Fleeger; Doug Fong; Jim Moore, Richard Hart and Jeff Fields, Ashland Watershed Stewardship Alliance; Matt Bryant and Charles Meyer, REAL Corp
CALL TO ORDER AT 5:40 P.M.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Two minor changes to the January 12, 2000 minutes. January 26, 2000 minutes approved.
ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
Commission welcomed new member Frank Betlejewski.
Update on Alliance Liaison Team Related to AWPP – Eggers explained that the Alliance was waiting to hear from the Mayor regarding the appointment of a liaison team. She had talked to Duffy who speculated that the Forest Service response would be to amend the MOU. Duffy hopes this new group would work on broader issues. Duffy’s intent is to work with the group as a "peer relationship," but Forest Service would have decision making control. Eggers asked for concerns from the commission. Morrison read Commissioner Robertson’s e-mailed comments for the record. Robertson felt this new team should be dealt with through the commission to improve attendance at meetings, save on staff time, and the length of time and commitment the commission has developed. He felt the commission offered a broad and representative cross section of our community.
Betlejewski understood the goal of the team was similar to the Forest Plan’s stated mission. Jim Moore of the Ashland Watershed Stewardship Alliance thought chance for funding was good and opportunity for team should not be lost. Richard Hart clarified activities of Forest Service vs. the Watershed. Liaison group goal would be specific to education and protection. Jeff Fields, another Alliance member, understood commission’s goal as looking at city lands, not forest as a whole. He thought the commission had time and "strength," but the Alliance was a new burst of energy. Fields asked for a meeting between the two groups. Egger reminded Fields that she, Robertson, Brock, Fleeger and Main are all involved in the Alliance. Morrison said that because the goals seem similar, he needs to see mayor’s letter to clarify intent.
Woodley was concerned with lack of Forest Commission quorums and additional staff time that may be required, but would be willing to meet monthly. Eggers reported that the District Ranger wants to have discussions soon. Eggers disclosed she would be doing education outreach for the Alliance this summer. Binnewies would like a joint meeting with the Alliance. Commission (through consensus) was open to a joint meeting and was anxious to see the Mayor’s letter.
Disposition of West Fork Ashland Creek Road - Woodley reported Linda Duffy, John Foreman and Paula Brown will look at road accessing Winburn and make a policy decision about easement responsibility and future purpose.
Status on Alice-In-Wonderland Trail Reroute - Woodley hiked trail with Mike Ricketts, Dan Sitton and Jeff McFarland to look into conflict with property owners. They recommend rerouting trail to south side of slope. Ricketts flagged and mapped proposed route. Removing the trail does not seem to be an option and the work will take place in the fall. Main said the reroute would also benefit erosion issues.
Summer Fire Patrol Officer - Woodley informed the commission that an officer (funded 50/50 with the Forest Service) began patrolling the trail system and interface lands during a rotating 40 hour work week. Eggers thought the public should be educated as to why roads are closed and thought some people may not agree with City funds paying for Forest Service enforcement.
Update on Tree Trimming at the Water Treatment Plant - Woodley reported that Beaver Tree Service cut four trees that were endangering structures. Smeenk added that a FERC site inspection of transmission lines was completed from Hosler Dam to WTP. Reported that wooded trestles would benefit from tree removal and erosion damage was occurring in one location. He will ask Main to take a look. Any work would need to be done before Winter.
Update from Marty Main on Silvicultural Projects – Main reported that since February fuel reduction work and planting has taken place in priority areas. Fred Way, biologist Forest Service, was excited to see three pairs of nesting spotted owls. Sixty-nine permanent plots of woody vegetation for long term monitoring have now been installed on Winburn parcel. Future projects include finishing Winburn parcel and looking at the steeper slopes on the lower part of the watershed. Betlejewski asked about hardwoods. Main maintained many hardwoods, however, objective of the work is to manage water and conifers as most important for stand structure.
IV. STATUS UPDATES:
- Forest Lands Contracting – Woodley pointed out Bill Hicks’ report in the packet: City of Ashland – Winburn Parcel Landslide Hazard Zonation.
- REAL Corps – Fleeger introduced students Matt Bryant and Charles Myer who presented maps of the Ashland Watershed Interface Fire Zone. They used Forest Service information and looked at each tax lot’s vegetation in the field. They showed the commission the completed maps. Next step is to look for "hot spots," including high vegetation, human interaction, structure and roof type. The information is on computer for custom map capability. Eggers wondered how maps will be used and how they would be made available. Students will be submitting a report. The maps will be used for education and to overly for "hot spots." Betlejewski liked the idea of correlating plant community with potential fire hazard. Fleeger added that these maps will show areas to target for fire prevention.
- Update on Trail Users Subcommittee – Woodley reported that Mike Ricketts now has the master plan for trails available.
- OTHER BUSINESS:
- INFORMATIONAL ITEMS
VII. REVIEW AND SET COMMISSION CALENDAR / NEXT MEETING
- Next Meeting: Tentatively set for Wednesday, September 13, 2000, 5:30 PM. Commission reserved right to call an earlier meeting if the Mayor’s letter regarding the Commission Liaison Team became available.
VIII. ADJOURN AT 7:15 PM