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Agendas and Minutes

Forest Lands Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

September 28, 2005 - 4:30 PM
Community Development, 51 Winburn Way

MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock (Chair), Jo Anne Eggers (Vice Chair), Anthony Kerwin, Dan Maymar 
Members Absent: Joseph Vaile, Diane White
Staff Present: Tyler Douglas, Nancy Slocum, Marty Main
Non-Voting Members Present: Cate Hartzell

I. CALL TO ORDER: Chair Brock called the meeting to order at 4:37 PM in the Siskiyou Room.
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Maymar/Betlejewski m/s to approve the minutes with two minor changes. Motion passed unanimously.
A. AFRCAT Update - On September 20th Wildlife Specialists from the USFS and USFWS meet with the AFRCATs to answer questions about the Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) consultation process. Brock thought it a very productive meeting and summarized it. Dave Clayton and Cliff Oakley had said it was premature of them to determine that either alternative would likely affect critical NSO habitat. Brock also noted that all stakeholders would like to see more on-the-ground data.

Brock questioned when the public would be able to review and comment on the implementation plans. Cindy Deacon-Williams said it may be a non-NEPA decision and noted that the USFS is not required to allow participation in the review process. Kerwin thought an open review process likely. Main had asked Linda Duffy the City's role in reviewing the implementation plan. She had indicated that the City's role would be defined in the FEIS. He would meet with her the next day to discuss this issue further. Brock said the City's only current legal standing is through the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The next AFRCAT meeting was scheduled for Monday, October 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at 51 Winburn Way.

B. Finalize Commissioner Site Visit on October 8 - Commission decided the site visit/car tour would visit south and north facing slopes and discuss late successional reserve issues. Participants would also look at areas where NSO habitat may be effected and what treatment in those areas might look like within the community alternative guidelines.

Participants would meet at 8:45 in the Darex Skating Rink parking lot. Darren Borgias asked staff to provide copies of the Commission glossary for use on the hike.

C. Winburn Parcel - Main volunteered to draft a packet of inventory data and prescription information by the end of October for Commission review. He suggested a site visit to the Winburn parcel in November and asked staff to put this on the Commission agenda for next month.

Main thought there was some prescription overlap with the Ashland Forest Resiliency project (AFR) existing information from Winburn could be used by the Forest Service for AFR. He thought the specifics would become clear when out in the field. He noted coordination with the forest Service would be important.

Eggers thought it important to educate the public on "old growth" terms and not to argue philosophy.

Borgias, looking over the current AFLC glossary, noted the lack of terms such as "late seral" and "critical habitat." Kerwin volunteered to draft new definitions and bring them to the next meeting for inclusion in the glossary. Staff would add this issue to October's agenda.

D. Discussion of AFR Public Participation Structure - Eggers and Maymar did not understand the purpose of soliciting public input at this stage between DEIS and FEIS. Deacon-Williams agreed that public participation should come after the Record of Decision when the information gathered would be of value. Betlejewski thought since it was a Forest Service project, the Forest Service should head this up. Some commissioners noted that the Forest Service would not being doing any public outreach beyond asking for comments.

Main said the subject initially came up in a meeting with three local social scientists and a discussion of how to assess community values around this project. The goal would be to activate local groups (such as SOU, local schools, rotary club, chamber of commerce, the art community) in long term awareness of watershed issues. Deacon-Williams recommended the Commission do strategic planning first. Slocum suggested adding public outreach to the goals for next year and ask for funding at the next budget year. The estimated cost using facilitators is $15,000.

Main noted that an added benefit to an outreach program would be to engage citizens in AFR monitoring; a ten year project. Betlejewski thought the commission might be taking on too much work.

E. Review Powers and Duties of AFRCAT - Brock asked if the current structure of the AFRCATs was sufficient. Deacon-Williams suggested the existing limitation of two Forest Service liaisons be expanded to include whomever had the most expertise on a specific issue. Betlejewski noted that the Fish & Wildlife biologists had not restrictions as to the number of contact persons. Eggers thought the intent of a limited number of liaisons was to allow the Forest Service to use their time well, therefore, talking to each expert separately would save time in the long run.

Borgias said George Badura and a Forest Service soil scientist would be meeting soon.

Main reported that during his recent meeting with Linda Duffy, no AFRCAT / Forest Service discussions would be held on updating the MOU as it is considered "out of scope" for the project.

F. Finalize Commission Presentation to Council October 4th - City Council would be looking for an overview of what the commission is working on. Slocum volunteered to make an overhead that listed the commission's draft goals and a timeline of 2004-2005 accomplishments. Eggers suggested inviting the Council and television audience to the upcoming hike.

Commission voted to extend the meeting until 6:15 PM.

G. Review and Vote on 2005 Commission Goals - The commission prioritized the draft 2005 goals and assigned corresponding objectives to a commissioner to clarify the goal and its objectives (if needed). In order of importance the goals are as follows: develop and implement monitoring plan on city-owned forest lands, update MOU (Frank), update Ashland Forest Plan (Betlejewski), complete Winburn management plan (Maymar), create riparian management strategy (Brock), develop community outreach plan (Betlejewski), create active weed control effort on City lands, create a fire management plan (goal needs refinement), collaboration with others in watershed projects in the City and beyond (may be combined with Goal 6). The draft goal "integrate interdisciplinary land analysis into the land management decision process" was removed as a goal and made into a "strategy" within the Goals and Strategies section of the Ashland Forest Plan. Commissioners will bring their draft objectives to the next commission meeting. The commission estimated that these goals would take from one to three years to complete.
H. Monitoring on City Owned Land - tabled.
A. Update of the memorandum of Understanding with USFS - Commission decided to add this item to their list of goals for next year so it can prioritized.
B. Thoughts on getting through the agenda - tabled.
A. Next regularly scheduled meeting: Wednesday, October 12, 2005.

Richard Brock, Chair

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Slocum, Clerk

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