Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, January 30, 2002
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
January 30, 2002 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Fred Binnewies, Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen, Bill Robertson (Chair}
Members Absent: Joe Charter, John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Staff: Keith Woodley, Karl Johnson, Nancy Slocum, Jeff McFarland
Guests: Marty Main, Eric Navickas, Ryan Navickas, Jay Lininger, Miles Murphy, Dennis Otian and 12 members of the public
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:35 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: January 9th minutes approved with one minor change.
III. PUBLIC FORUM:
A. Steve Armitage, 205 Randy Street, spoke regarding his experience on the Planning Commission. He saw a need to set a time limit on speakers and to be consistent about it.
B. Pat Acklin, Associate Professor in Geography at SOU and former Forest Commissioner, introduced Geography student Chad Tucker. Tucker is an intern for the City and will be working with Marty Main, Jeff McFarland, Nancy Slocum. He would like to support the commission as well.
C. Stuart O’Neill, 430 Ashland Street, is a seven year resident who loves the watershed. He acknowleges that the commission is striving to be stewards of the land and correcting the mistakes of the past, however, he supports the principles of ecology and the return of the natural fire cycle.
D. Eric Navickas, 711 Faith Avenue, thought public commissions should allow a public forum with five minutes for each citizen to speak. As he understood it, the recent site visit into the watershed was not public.
E. Ryan Navickas, 711 Faith Avenue, supported the shift to a more pine-dominated forest. He asked the commission not to experiment with the Winburn parcel, which is public land.
F. Jonathan Frank, address unknown, hoped the commission was open to hear and take into account public input. He felt the forest should be treated using hand cutting to allow citizens the opportunity to be a part of the forest.
G. Jay Lininger, seconded Eric Navickas’s comments on public input. He also agreed with allowing prescribed burning. He thought the discussion of density reduction on the Winburn parcel needs to be site specific and allow for the adjustment of prescriptions.
IV. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Establish Commission’s Procedure for Accepting Public Input – Robertson asked the commission to establish a consistent procedure for accepting public input during commission meetings. Robertson said the City Council limits the public forum to 5 minutes per person up to a maximum of 15 minutes. Eggers reported that the Parks Commission limits the public forum to general items not on the agenda and allows no more than 15 minutes. Other commissions allow additional public comment on agenda items after the staff report on that item. Brock asked about items such as the proposal being presently revised line by line. Binnewies felt flexibility was needed to allow citizen input.
Commission decided to use the City Council’s procedure (5 minutes each up to 15 minutes) additionally allowing approximately one minute for each citizen wishing to speak on an agenda item when that item is opened for discussion. Robertson invited citizens to submit longer comments in writing for inclusion in the commission packet by the Thursday before any meeting. Items should be submitted to Nancy Slocum at the Public Works Department.
B. Appraisal of the January 12, 2002 Site Visit to City-Owned Forestlands – Robertson noted that the site visit was noticed in the Daily Tidings and was open to the public. He apologized for misspeaking at the end of the last meeting. He attempted to contact those at the meeting and left phone messages. He assured those present that more site visits would be planned in the near future. Eggers read a portion of II. B. in the “Public Meetings Guide” that states a meeting specifically “does not include any on site inspection of any project or program, ….” Jensen reassured those present that the commission meant nothing devious.
Brock reported that those present on the site visit looked at the slope concern on Unit N. The consensus by those present was to treat the area conservatively. The group also viewed the tree diversity on the dryer, southern slopes. Betlejewski, an advocate of tree “girdling,” saw Douglas fir disease. He thought treating them by girdling might put the trees we want to save at risk. Jensen reemphasized the complexity of the forest in these areas. Eggers inquired whether or not a geological hazard survey analysis had been completed on the parcels they visited. Main answered in the affirmative and a map prepared by consulting geologist Billy Hicks was shown to commission members. Main thought it was a great trip that included a lot of discussion, reviewed four types of treatment and included diverse members of the public.
C. Continued Discussion of Stand Density Reduction on City Owned Forest Lands –
Steve Armitage was encouraged after reading the current draft proposal. He commented on the need for a discussion of the definition of “old growth” and thought, as written, it impossible to cut trees over 200 years old. In addition, he thought whatever the chosen prescription, it should not be tied to finances. On the other hand however, as a taxpayer, Armitage urged the commission to be fiscally responsible.
Betlejewski saw the need for a glossary of definitions. Commission agreed and several commissioners will bring drafts to the next meeting. Brock reviewed Main’s previous reports and complied an estimate of acres with slope stability concerns in the lower watershed area. The table is attached to the 1-29-02 revision. Main said the numbers were misleading as there is a lot of variation within the units and required flexibility is needed to achieve the goals.
Eric Navickas said that helicopter logging was not addressed in the document. Brock said it was too early in the process to discuss. He reminded Navickas that logistics would be discussed after the proposal is complete.
Commission voted to extend the meeting until 6:15 PM.
Commission discussed the “Guiding Principles” section, but wanted more time to think about this section. Commissioners will report back next meeting.
V. OTHER BUSINESS –
A. Dates for additional site visits: Saturday, February 23rd at 9:00 AM and Saturday, March 16th at 9:00 AM. Both are expected to last until approximately 4:00 PM, will meet at the intersection of Glenview and Granite and are open to the public.
B. Dates for commission meetings: Wednesday, February 13th (4:30 – 6:15 PM), March 6th (5:15-7:00 PM) and March 13th (4:30 PM – 6:30 PM).
C. Eggers offered to lend the commissioners a videotape regarding the Mount Ashland expansion
VI. ADJOURNED AT 6:15 PM