Regular Monthly Meeting
Friday, March 16, 2001
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
MARCH 16, 2001, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Fred Binnewies, Joe Charter, Jo Anne Eggers (Acting Chair), Stephen Jensen, John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Members Absent: Richard Brock, Bill Robertson (Chair)
Staff: Keith Woodley, Karl Johnson, Nancy Slocum
Guests: Marty Main; Lyndia Hammer, REAL Corps; Charlie Booth, Parkview Estates
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:40 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: January 10th and 24th minutes approved with two minor clarifications.
III. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Interface Study – REAL Corps requested this agenda item. Woodley explained that during REAL Corps’ presentation to the commission a couple of months ago, Brock asked for some clarification. REAL Corps wants to know what might be missing from the plan. As neither Fleeger nor Brock were in attendance, the item was tabled until next month. Eggers had understood that Brock was going to meet with REAL Corp to go over his specific concerns. Woodley said the report has been useful to the city in preparation for upcoming grants.
B. Status On Silviculture Projects – Main summarized his Silvicultural Prescription for Unit G3 (dated March 14, 2001). Unit G3, located northwest of the water treatment facility, is a highly sensitive area for maintaining water quality. Strategies will include monitoring vegetation and slope changes over time. Jensen asked the location of the New Year’s Day avalanche. Main explained that debris slides are common, but the existing road intensified the effect of that avalanche. Betlejewski asked about conifers vs. deciduous trees, water evaporation and the effect of decomposed granitic soil. Main stated that the goal of treatment is stabilization of water quality. They will be thinning and piling per the geologists recommendation. Depending upon conditions, burning may have to wait until next fall.
C. Update on Future Forest Projects – Woodley followed up on the commission’s request for additional information on timber harvesting. Main presented an overview of the process. He explained that the process in preparation for a timber sale is complex. Especially noteworthy is the administration and supervision of a sale and the overseeing of log removal. Main estimated the volume of the proposed timber sale at a million board feet. His criteria for choosing trees was improvement of stand health, avoiding riparian areas, and helicopter logging logistics. Eggers wondered if there was a current schedule for tree removal. Marty thought perhaps that the sale could be coordinated with the Forest Service to lower costs. Jensen asked if there were differences between these prescriptions and those of the Forest Service. Main said the trees on city property were smaller due to previous forest fires, 90% of them were under 18” in diameter. He does not use size as a criteria, however, only stand health. Woodley said there would be an extensive public process before any trees are removed, he does not expect a good deal of controversy however. Main added that most of the trees to be removed are from the Winburn Parcel. Betlejewski asked about Main’s criteria for riparian areas. Main used the state forestry guidelines of 100 feet from a stream. Betlejewski asked about leaving snags in the stream. Main said, after the New Year’s Day flood, the public was very concerned about logs left in the creek. Woodley added that Sue Maiyo was working on a report that may provide further information. He reminded the commission that one of their goals was developing a riparian area plan.
D. Joint Subcommittee with AWSA Proposal – Betlejewski asked if the status of the ad hoc committee had changed after their charge (providing the council with a recommendation regarding the FEIS) was complete. Morrison volunteered to research this question. The rest of the discussion was tabled.
E. Commission Response to ROD for FEIS – Response is due out within the next couple of weeks. Item tabled until the commission can review the decision.
A. Forest Lands Contracting – Refer to discussion above.
B. REAL Corps – Lyndia Hammer, REAL Corps representative, reported that they are currently in a cost share agreement with two private landowners. The work involves the removal of Manzanita and Scotch Broom. They are also aiding in a community forum to be held in April. Woodley reported details of the forum. It will target all citizens, especially those within the wildfire interface zone. The goal is to inform people of the potential fire risk. It will be sponsored by the City, the Chamber of Commerce, Fire District 5, and Ashland Community Hospital. It is set for April 12th from 7-9 PM in SOU’s Rogue River Room. It will include a 30-minute introduction, short presentations and an opportunity for participants to get organized into neighborhoods. GIS maps to supplement the discussion may be available as well.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Woodley distributed a copy of the Oregon Department of Forestry grant application designed to create defensible space around homes on private land. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2001.
VI. ADJOURNED AT 5:55 PM