ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
July 9, 2003 4:30 - 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Elizabeth Crosson
Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen (Chair), Anthony Kerwin, Bill Robertson
Members Absent: None
Staff Present: Nancy Slocum, Keith Woodley,
Non Voting Members: Marty Main (Consultant), Chris Hearn (Council Liaison), January Jennings (Tree Commission Liaison)
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:35 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: June 9, 2003 minutes were unanimously approved. June 25th minutes were approved with one minor correction.
III. PUBLIC FORUM: Jim Larabee participated in the July 8th hike and wanted to observe a meeting. He appreciated discovering the commissioner's values and thought the commission very open to suggestions. He would like to see more energy put into discussions on temperature variations, shade tolerant trees versus sun tolerant trees and vegetation on high slopes.
New Tree Commission Liaison, January Jennings introduced herself to the commission.
IV. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Public Hike Update - Robertson reported that five members of the public participated in the hike to the top of Morton, the Barranca Unit, the ridge line and the BTI trail. Subcommittee members spoke at a recent Kiwanis meeting and announcements will be posted in the ACFS, Chamber of Commerce and Methodist church newsletters. Jensen asked Hearn for input regarding the best way to invite the City Council. Hearn suggested email.
Crosson suggested a future prescribed burning demonstration plot.
B. Discussion and Vote on Inclusions to the City Forest Lands Restoration Project Draft
1. Fuelbreak issue: Crosson thought a better definition of a fuelbreak was needed. Woodley asked about the management of existing fuelbreaks. Would we let them grow? Maintain them? Kerwin thought further management would be decided at a future date. Brock suggested the following fuelbreak definition: " A strip of land, usually on ridges, in which vegetation has been significantly reduced. Fuelbreaks are used as part of a fire suppression strategy." Commission agreed with this type of definition. Crosson volunteered to rewrite.
2. Ashland Forest Plan: Commission approved of the wording and decided to subtitle the new segment within the "Background" section.
3. Relationship to Forest Service: The commission approved the wording authored by Crosson and decided to place it within the "Community Priority" section.
4. Prescribed Burning: a lengthy discussion on this section including the conditions for pretreatment and the need for specifics in this section. Frank will rework the section and bring it back to the commission next meeting.
Bill moved to accept each submission as modified for inclusion into the City Forest Lands Restoration Project with the exception of the "Prescribed Fire" section. Crosson seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
C. Winburn Parcel Stand Density Discussion - Jensen asked each commissioner to comment on separating the lower parcel and the Winburn parcel into two documents. Brock had concerns if kept together. He thought it would effect implementation of work on the lower portion. Robertson thought staff would continue with the lower watershed regardless. Betlejewski thought the two parcels should be planned as one, but implemented separately. Units 2 and 6 in the Winburn parcel would not likely need commercial thinning, therefore, the project could be broke into commercial versus non-commercial projects. Crosson reiterated that the two parcels are very different and if planned together the public could misinterpret the commission's intention. Eggers thought since Main had said that both parcels could stand alone, it would be simpler to separate them. Kerwin wondered how much of the prescription information would go into the document. If a general "Desired Future Conditions" section, then they can proceed together, if more detail is desired, then they should be separated.
Main thought it better financially if parcels are planned and implemented together, however, he noted a narrow window of opportunity to implement this project because of increasing tree mortality. As the prescriptions for the Winburn Parcel are only preliminary, Main suggested not adding them to this document.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
Councilor Hearn was impressed with the amount of public input solicitation. Mayor DeBoer asked Hearn to pass on a suggestion to submit two versions of the project to the City Council: 1) that is financially feasible and pays for itself; and 2) a "wish list" where money is no object.
Robertson noted that many people were anxious to tour the Winburn Parcel. He felt a hike should be scheduled soon after the last lower watershed hike in August.
VI. REVIEW AND SET COMMISSION CALENDAR / NEXT MEETING
A. Next scheduled meeting was set for Wednesday, August 13, 2003.
VII. MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:25 PM
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