ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
August 13, 2003 4:30 - 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Elizabeth Crosson (Vice Chair), Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen (Chair), Anthony Kerwin, Bill Robertson
Members Absent: None
Staff Present: Nancy Slocum, Keith Woodley, Pieter Smeenk
Non Voting Members: Marty Main (Consultant)
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:30 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: July 9, 2003 minutes were unanimously approved as submitted.
III. PUBLIC FORUM: No one spoke.
IV. STAFF REPORTS
A. Keith Woodley clarified the commission's budget. He explained the budget has been funded by the Water Department since 1994 and is approximately $60,000 to $80,000 per year. Expenditures typically include contracts for Bill Hicks and Marty Main, surveys and thinning. Revenue would include any trees sold. The fund can't be touched or traded. Additionally, potential and actual grant monies are included in the adopted budget. Chris Chamber's salary is funded with grant administration monies. The budget also includes $1000 for commission training and education.
Woodley met with Hicks, Main and Sitton to take a second look at the geological hazard mapping. It was decided that additional mapping would not be area wide, but done on a case by case basis.
B. Main reported on the ongoing groundwork. The prescriptions for the lower parcel are nearly complete. The remaining units (N, most of K, and S) are in process, but have been on hold because of slope instability. Historically hazardous slope areas are mapped off and no trees are removed. With the last of this information he can figure out the relative cost for each unit. Eggers wondered if, because of the relocation on the city waterline, Main should wait to evaluate that area.
Main also toured the important interface areas with John Schulyer, interim Forest Ranger.
V. REVIEW OF PROJECTS PENDING/REQUIRING ACTION
Crosson handed out an example of an "Action Plan" similar to what other commissions use to track activities, deliverables, responsible party and deadlines. She thought it would be useful to the commission as an organizational tool and history. Jensen recommended Crosson be responsible for updating and reporting on the Action Plan each meeting. Commission agreed.
VI. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Agenda Realign and Minutes Protocol - Jensen introduced the new agenda format designed to facilitate the meeting and help staff organize minutes. Citizens would be allowed to speak only during Public Forum. Also, Jensen researched other commissions' minutes and found that the Forest Commission minutes more abbreviated than most. He suggested more detailed minutes that include all main points working toward a decision.
The commission also discussed electronic versus paper commission packets. Jensen recommended paper, as email is not always reliable. Robertson and Jensen requested, to save time, the commissioners read the minutes before each meeting. Crosson preferred electronic and would arrange that option with staff.
B. August 12th Public Hike Update - Eggers reported that nine people went on this final hike to the lower watershed. She was pleased to see some new aspects of the watershed. Slocum said that KOBI was interested in knowing when and where future hikes would be held. The commission decided that, although open to the public, future hikes would not have the same extensive public outreach.
C. Restoration Project Draft - The discussion and vote on prescribed burning inclusion was tabled until next meeting.
Woodley said the City Council was anxious to see the final project, especially the economic piece. Main said he would have the lower watershed prescriptions finished by the end of September then he and Woodley can project a budget. Woodley will schedule the commission's presentation of the final proposal to City Council for October 21st. The commission will review the budget during the October 8th meeting. Regarding the frustration over City Councilors not attending hikes, Woodley thought the Council had high confidence in the commission and therefore they didn't feel the need to attend. Eggers would like the commission to educate the Council on the difference between the "economic" and "financial" issues of this project.
Betlejewski reminded Main that the treatment of slash is an associated cost. Main recommended a separate contract to address slash. Slash crews/prescribed underburning should be done immediately after helicopter work.
D. Response to Mayor's Proposal - Referring the last month's minutes, Crosson wondered if the commission should respond to Mayor DeBoer's request (via Hearn) for two proposals. Because the Mayor's comments were not firsthand, some commissioners decided that a small subcommittee should talk to Hearn. Robertson moved that the commission not formally respond to the Mayor's comments. Brock seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
E. Contract Options - Jensen commented that when the details are identified a logging company would probably bid and do the work, however, what about small diameter (4-8") utilization? Woodley said there has been some success with demonstration projects (i.e. the Hayfork Group). However, Ashland watershed terrain is primarily roadless, steep and labor intensive. Main said there is a huge difference in the amount of soil disturbance in dragging logs versus lifting logs. He would have to map all the existing helicopter landings.
Jensen asked the commission if they wanted Hayfork to make a presentation during the September meeting. Eggers supported exploring that option. The commission agreed, but wanted Jensen to make sure they were aware of the terrain issues. Crosson said there was a potential for $50,000 in grant money for small diameter utilization. She will also research the process and cost for the Seattle Watershed Group.
F. Commission Development Suggestions - Jensen asked the commission if they would like speakers to give 20 minute educational talks on such subjects as meeting protocol, facilitation skills and legal issues. Roberston thought all the topics could be covered in one study session. Brock suggested postponement until December or January. Eggers appreciated Jensen's desire to educate the commission on such issues.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
Robertson suggested that all commission email correspondence be "reply to all" to allow all commissioners access to the same information. Woodley cautioned the commission not to deliberate toward a decision via email.
Brock asked the Commission if they would like to give the City Council input on the Mount Ski Ashland Environmental Impact Statement. Jensen suggested this be an agenda item for next meeting. He said Paula Brown had some input. Eggers reminded the commission that there is a schedule of tours in the area.
VI. REVIEW AND SET COMMISSION CALENDAR / NEXT MEETING
A. Next scheduled meeting was set for Wednesday, September 10, 2003.
VII. MEETING ADJOURNED AT 6:08 PM
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