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Agendas and Minutes

Forest Lands Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, July 08, 2008

MINUTES FOR THE MEETING

ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION

July 8, 2008 – 5:30 PM

Community Development, 51 Winburn Way

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Craig Gorson, Anthony Kerwin (Chair), Christopher Iverson, Dan Maymar, Ben Rice

Members Absent:                     None

Staff Present:                           Pieter Smeenk, Nancy Slocum, Keith Woodley

Non-Voting Members Present: Marty Main, Eric Navickas

                                                                                   

 

I.                CALL TO ORDER: Chair Anthony Kerwin called the meeting to order at 5:45 PM in the Siskiyou Room.

 

II.              APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Tabled.

 

III.            PUBLIC FORUM: No one spoke.

 

IV.            ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA: Iverson asked the Commission to set a date for the next public hike to the Winburn Parcel. Iverson moved to set Saturday, September 20, 2008 as the date for the hike. Maymar seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Slocum will check the community calendar to make sure no other main events are scheduled for that weekend.

 

V.              OLD BUSINESS: Tabled.

 

VI.            NEW BUSINESS

A.   Ashland Forest Resiliency Plan FEIS Review and Comment

Woodley noted that the 30 day “governmental review” of the FEIS began June 20th. At that time the Forest Service released draft versions of Chapters II (Alternatives) and III (Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences) of the FEIS. The prescriptions have not yet been released. A newer draft of Chapter III was released July 7th. Commission saw enormous difficulty in reviewing the FEIS without the proposed prescriptions.

 

Woodley, Main and Darren Borgias met with the Forest Service (Don Bouche, Mel Wan and Linda Duffy) twice to discuss the differences between the Preferred Alternative (PA) and the Community Alternative (AFRCA). Woodley distributed a handout summarizing the main differences. The Commission made recommendations on each difference to be forwarded to the City Council for discussion at their July 14th Study Session. [The meeting was later rescheduled for August 4, 2008.] The Council will vote on the “governmental review” response to the Forest Service at its August 5, 2008 meeting.

 

1.  Silvicultural Treatments within the Research Natural Area (RNA)

Of the 1408 acres in the RNA, the PA proposed treating 1280 acres while the AFRCA proposed 520 acres. The additional treated acres includes the lower 2/3 of the RNA, high landslide hazard zone areas and light treatment in the one Northern Spotted Owl core. Commission recommended staying with the treatment proposed in the AFRCA and to revisit this question when the USFS provided prescriptions for review.

 

2.  Addition of Roadside Treatments Adjacent to US Forest Road 2060

Although both alternatives included roadside treatments, the AFRCA avoided treatment on slopes of 65% or greater and treatments that are less contiguous than proposed by the PA. Commission discussed the need to review road engineering on areas adjacent to slopes greater than 65%. The Commission suggested an addendum be added to the monitoring, mitigation and implementation recommendations made to the USFS on October 10, 2007. The Commission also recommended setting up an avenue to evaluation and address any conflicts that come up between road engineering and/or treatment.

 

3.  Removal of Diameter Limits in the Roadless Area

The AFRCA provided for 7” diameter limits for understory treatment in the Roadless Area. As it was against USFS policy to set diameter limits, the Commission had no recommendation.

 

4.  Locations and Types of Treatments in Roadless Area

The PA eliminated treatments above the 2060 Road except in the Horn Gulch / Talent Wildfire Urban Interface (WUI) zone. Although not a high priority, the AFRCA proposed only non-commercial work in Roadless Area to promote forest health. In addition, the PA added additional treatment at 60% canopy closure at the ridgeline at the top of Horn Gulch. The Commission recommended (4 to 1 vote) advocating for non-commercial treatment in the Roadless Area as outlined in the AFRCA with the addition of the same non-commercial treatment in the Talent WUI.

 

5.  Addition of Strategic Ridgeline Treatments and Canopy Closure

The AFRCA proposed a more dispersed, area-wide treatment strategy while the PA prescribed a more uniform 60% canopy closure on strategic ridgelines. Commission would support the PA’s proposal with the exception of treating around “legacy trees” where the Commission recommended treatment as outlined in the AFRCA.

 

6.      Sedimentation Issue and DEQ TMDL Standards

The new Department of Environmental Quality Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) sediment baseline was recently established at 3.62 cubic yards per day. Neither alternative addressed these new standards. The FEIS predicted “no significant change in sediment streams” for either alternative. The lack of infrastructure engineering specifics was discussed as well as the lack of other indicators of erosion. Commission recommended an amendment to the monitoring, mitigation and implementation recommendations made to the USFS on October 10, 2007 stating the need for adaptive management practices. A recommendation for a West Fork monitoring station was also made.

 

VII.          COMMISSIONER COMMENTS: None.

 

VIII.       ADJOURN: 8:15 PM

 

Anthony Kerwin, Chair

 

Respectfully Submitted, Nancy Slocum, Accounting Clerk

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