Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, April 11, 2001
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
APRIL 11, 2001, 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Fred Binnewies, Richard Brock, Joe Charter, Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen, Bill Robertson (Chair), John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Staff: Keith Woodley, Karl Johnson, Nancy Slocum
Guests: Bill Fleeger, REAL Corps
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:40 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: March 16, 2001minutes approved as amended.
III. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Follow-up with REAL Corp regarding Interface Study – Woodley gave a background report stating commission’s overall satisfaction with the study, however some commissioners thought there was a need to correct the classification of a few high risk areas and then prioritize these private properties within the wildfire interface zone. Robertson stated that, with tax lot delineation and the eventual long-term goal of area wide treatment, the report was a great beginning. Brock agreed and asked if the student’s field notes could be used to make corrections. He wanted to refine the data to answer the question of what specific work needs to be done at each lot. Robertson wanted to aim for “neighbors helping neighbors.” Perhaps owners could assess their own property. He asked Fleeger what existing data was available from REAL Corps. Fleeger agreed that some areas need to be reevaluated. He said Rich Hall, GIS Specialist for the City, has all the data relating to structures (high, medium and low risk), nine categories of fuel types and the assigned values for the interaction between the two. There were no field notes. Fleeger agreed with Robertson’s suggestion of property owner doing a self-assessment as a means to promote involvement, as an educational tool and as a source of data.
Jensen asked Fleeger to estimate the data error. Fleeger thought, that because students did the fieldwork, about 5%. The data collection stops at the city limits. Robertson indicated that stand delineation could be done on county land using aerial maps and without the use of city funds. Fleeger had a student in mind that may do this as a senior project. Robertson, Jensen, Betlejewski and Brock volunteered to help the intern depending upon time constraints. Betlejewski said that “seamless” mapping might be accomplished with interface funding. He said this could be accomplished using existing data.
Fleeger would like specific guidance on the desired report changes. He volunteered to work on existing data with the commission. Robertson would like to see data collection prioritized to include the county and then seeing what funding is needed for the whole area. Brock thought the properties at the end of Terrace Street need to be reassessed and made a priority. Robertson thought the commission and perhaps the intern could do the assessment using the 1998 aerial maps.
B. Joint Subcommittee with AWSA Proposal
C. State Fire Assistant Grant – Woodley reminded the commission about the April 12th community forum at SOU to address wildfire issues. Jim Wolf will be there to answer questions about the grant. The City of Ashland submitted a grant that covered 73 acres at Terrace and Grandview. He is attempting to get private property owners to start mitigation efforts without funding. Currently he is meeting with approximately three property owners a day.
Woodley commended the REAL Corps’ Ashland Urban Wildland Interface Fire Zone Risk and Hazard Assessment. He said the report built a great case for the grant and the timing was perfect. He has no word as to whether grant monies would be available in following years.
Eggers thought that identifying the problem, education and building community was a more important goal than funding. Brock agreed and said an easy next step would be to determine what to do within our diverse ecotypes (stand types and conditions) within the interface zone. Having examples of threatened ecotypes is educational. Binnewies suggested providing property owners with maps and suggested prescriptions. Woodley said Main was creating templates for this purpose.
A. Forest Lands Contracting – Woodley reported for Marty Main. Because of the wildlife regulations, Winburn parcel is now closed until the Fall. They have completed area thinning on the west side of the canyon.
B. REAL Corps –
C. Trail Users Subcommittee – Jeff McFarlane called in a report to Slocum. She informed the commission that the city is attempting to get easements from property owners affected by the Alice in Wonderland Trail. To date two of the three owners have agreed to allow a trail easement on their property. The Committee will be composing a new letter to the last property owner at their next meeting.
Rickets and McFarlane just received a $60,000 grant for improvement and construction of the Ashland trail system from the crest trail and the Bear Creek Greenway. The Planning Dept is working on placing signs for the trail through town. Construction is due to begin in June.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Last month the commission asked Morrison to talk with the Mayor regarding the status of the Council’s ad hoc committee, which was initially formed to review the Watershed Protection Plan EIS. Morrison reported meeting with the Mayor. The Mayor is reviewing the issue. Fleeger mentioned that he was a member of the ad hoc committee and did not foresee any additional duties.
B. A reminder that the commission is scheduled for its yearly presentation to the City Council on current activities on July 17, 2001 at 7:00 PM.
VI. ADJOURNED AT 5:40 PM