Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, April 10, 2002
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
April 10, 2002 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock (Acting Chair), Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen, John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Members Absent: Bill Robertson (Chair)
Staff Present: Nancy Slocum, Karl Johnson
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:40 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: March 13 minutes approved as submitted.
III. PUBLIC FORUM:
Eric Navickas, 711 Faith Avenue, read from a 1979 City, RVCOG, EPA study addressing the lifting of a logging moratorium imposed because of sediment concerns. The study, “Concerns of the City of Ashland Regarding the Forest Service Interim Plan” agreed for the most part with the 1977 Montgomery report. Navickas agreed with one conclusion that stated: “although the removal of fuel from the watershed would present certain benefits, the extensive logging activities required to do this effectively would present far more hazards and potential for loss than for benefit. However, we are open to other methods of fuels management, such as controlled burning.”
Navickas also thought that removing more overstory (forest canopy) would not be beneficial. Ground vegetation and mistletoe would increase with more sunlight raising the overall fire risk. He was also concerned with some of the language in the latest Timber Cruise Report referring to “commercial forest land.” He thought that such language was a clear display of intent to pay for the project with logging.
IV. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Ashland Urban-Wildland Fire Management Plan Presentation – Main presented the same Wildland/Urban Interface Wildfire Management Inventory Analysis and Opportunities Plan at a recent Council study session. The report will prioritize spending of the $250,000 "Multi-Agency National Fire Plan Implementation Grant: Community Assistance and Economic Action Programs" grant and will be available on the Internet soon. Main explained that the interface zone was identified by three critical values: residents, property values and resource values. The accompanying maps showed delineation of landscape units and general management prescriptions as well as landscape level analysis. Other maps included management priorities that will be used to minimize wildfire danger on private lands and tactical opportunities for wildfire suppression. The maps indicated the many areas where fuel reduction had already taken place.
Navickas asked, if the entire city-owned land within the watershed was logged in 1991, why didn’t that work? Will the forest land have to be treated every ten years? Brock explained that that previous logging took out only big trees and left slash.
A. Continued Discussion of Stand Density Reduction on City Owned Forest Lands –
Eggers would like to turn Draft #5 over to staff so the commission could focus their energy on the several remaining big issues. Brock said the current draft is a good refinement, but he has a couple of changes and thought the last section of the draft is still too rough.
Eggers would like to see several long-term values for the economic section. Brock believed that commission needed help visualizing future desired conditions. Eggers thought the commission had great expertise with Main, Brock and Betlejewski, but she wanted other points of view, other values such as soils hydrology, wildlife, etc. Morrison said that Navickas’ perception of the commission’s intent must be addressed in the proposal as the commission’s goal has always been stand healthy ecosystem, water quality, etc. Jensen agreed.
Betlejewski thought there was more to forestry management than filling a logging truck. As the remaining meeting time was short, he asked the commission to adopt the glossary in the packet. Jensen suggested that the vocabulary be consistent with Main’s report. Eggers would like additional words added to the glossary. Betlejewski said the glossary can be reworked, but would like it adopted as is. No action was taken.
Acting Chairperson Brock returned the discussion to handing Main the current draft. Main asked if the commission was comfortable with the draft. If the commission was ready, he would like to bring back questions for discussion next meeting. Commission would welcome Main’s feedback at the next meeting.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Brock reported that he and Robertson had talked to the Badura-Bruckner-Hicks (BBH) Group about contracting several specific areas of research and fieldwork to give the commission needed information to help with decision making. Jensen would like the group to make a presentation at the next meeting. Staff would arrange for the presentation.
VI. ADJOURNED AT 6:10 PM