Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, May 08, 2002
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
May 8, 2002 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Bill Robertson (Chair), Elizabeth Crosson, Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen, Anthony Kerwin
Members Absent: Richard Brock, John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Staff Present: Keith Woodley, Nancy Slocum, Karl Johnson, Jeff McFarland
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:30 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: April 10th minutes approved with one minor change.
III. PUBLIC FORUM:
Eric Navickas, 711 Faith Avenue, noted that the city-owned watershed was surrounded by forest service land that is overseen by federal regulations. Federal regulations require moss, plant, amphibian and bird surveys. He believed the Commission should also require these surveys before moving towards a decision. He also displayed a map showing areas of logging and roads since 1955. He felt the watershed was poorly managed in that logging was always the answer. He thought the commission has decided to log the watershed and was now trying to justify that decision.
IV. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Report on April 20th Winburn Hike – Eggers was impressed by the variety of opinions represented: commissioners, staff, hikers, technical persons. Robertson estimated they saw about 20% of the Winburn parcel. Jensen enjoyed the breadth and depth of the discussions. Woodley thought the site visit was very productive.
B. B-B-H Group Presentation – Badura, Bruckner and Hicks presented a proposal to the commission for the addition of hazard evaluations on high-risk city-owned forestlands. The evaluations would relate to vegetation modification effects on stability, soil issues and long term effects on vegetation – an interdisciplinary approach. The goal would be to upgrade existing levels of information and provide a “marking guide” (prescription), including alternatives.
Eggers recommended formation of a subcommittee to study the need for the information B-B-H Group could provide. Brock, Betlejewski and Main will form the subcommittee and report back to the commission at its June 12th meeting.
C. Ashland Ecosystem Management Program (AEMP) Presentation – Erin from Real Corps said that last summer’s Quartz Creek Fire was a wake-up call for the city. She and Howard Heiner from the Ashland Watershed Stewardship Alliance recommended the city develop a multi-ownership coordinated strategy for reducing the fire hazard in the Ashland Watershed within a definite time line. Heiner requested a dialogue to expand the commission’s responsibility to include the high-risk urban interface area and the greater watershed area (any area that impacts the watershed). The commission could serve as a link between federal, county, SOU and non-governmental agencies as well as citizenry. It could also provide expertise to the council. Heiner suggested a three-year time limit for density-reduction of small diameter trees within the urban interface area.
Eggers announced that the AWSA was seeking comments related to the Forest Service upper Bear Creek Watershed assessment via a questionnaire and encouraged commissioners and audience members to participate.
Jensen had read both proposals and applauded Heiner’s effort at coordinating efforts. Robertson also liked the idea. Robertson recommended that a subcommittee be formed to bring the commission a recommendation at its June 12th meeting. Crosson and Jensen were appointed. Jensen would require background information on past Forest Service communications and a staff person to assist them in council procedures.
D. Continued Discussion of Stand Density Reduction on City Owned Forest Lands – At the last meeting commission asked Main for feedback on Draft #5 of the stand density reduction proposal. The proposal would ultimately be presented to the city council. Main commended the commission’s effort and the quality of the draft. He reviewed some of his comments. As time ran out, Main will have staff incorporate his comments and include them in the next commission packet.
Robertson suggested the commission meet again May 29th at 4:30 PM to continue the discussion. Commission agreed.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. A field trip to Woodrat (Jacksonville) and the site of the Quartz Fire was planned for Saturday, June 8th. All interested parties will meet in the Council Chamber parking lot at 9:00 AM to carpool. The site visit is expected to last until approximately 4:00 PM. Commissioner Crosson requested another site visit be set for the Winburn Parcel. A date will be set at the next meeting.
VI. ADJOURNED AT 6:20 PM