Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, January 10, 2001
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
JANUARY 10, 2001, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Fred Binnewies, Richard Brock, Joe Charter, Jo Anne Eggers, Bill Robertson (Chair),
Members Absent: John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Staff: Keith Woodley, Karl Johnson, Nancy Slocum
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 5:31 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: December 13, 2000 minutes approved.
III. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Recommendation to City Council Regarding Ashland Watershed Protection Project Final EIS –
Commissioners each presented their comments on the Forest Service’s Final EIS. Betlejewski focused on Alternative 6. He would like the Forest Service to take immediate steps to begin treatment. He approved the cumulative approach, but wanted to see more discussion within the EIS about hardwoods. Betlejewski was also concerned about the lack of treatment in riparian areas and the potential effect on water quality. Thought the use of native seed was good. Thought a watershed analysis of the whole 15,000 acres was vital to the overall strategy. Betlejewski would also like to examine the Forest Service prescriptions for Alternative 6.
Brock thought most of his concerns were addressed in the EIS. He approved of the shift away from the fuel break concept, but would like to see more emphasis on monitoring. He agreed with Betlejewski’s comments on the riparian areas, but felt the Forest Service would avoid this issue. He wondered about the scheduling element of the interface zone and how that might affect the health of the larger trees in the upper regions of the watershed.
Charter was encouraged by the overall course of action and included revisions. He agreed that the report needed to allow for flexibility once treatment began.
Robertson reiterated the need for immediate action and a full watershed analysis. A relatively small area was selected for intense treatment. He is also concerned about funding for the rest of the watershed.
Binnewies thought the EIS was overall an excellent document. He was concerned with the lack of shaded fuel breaks in Alternative 6. Would like to see the maintenance of vegetation as addressed in Alternative 5. He would like more time to study the document.
Eggers also approved of the shift to area wide treatment and thought it was a long-term solution. She would like to see the planning for the next phase begin now. She appreciated the inclusion of community input and would like to know more about public monitoring during the implementation phase of the project. She commented that the photos included in Chapter One were taken in Idaho, not our watershed as presented.
Robertson thought the letter to council should address the three main themes as discussed: commission’s concerns, items the commission liked about the EIS and items commission thought were omitted.
Woodley reported that the treatment outlined in Alternative 6 would take 8-12 years. Treatment would begin at the lower elevations. He spoke to Main and agreed that treatment should begin immediately. They were both concerned with the potential loss of controversial trees. Eggers would like clarification on the criteria and guidelines for taking large trees. She also wanted to know where in the treatment process the community could provide feedback. Brock thought refinement to treatment guidelines are an expected part of the process.
Commission drafted a letter based on the ideas and concerns presented. Commission agreed to continue the meeting until, January 24th at 5:30 PM, to finalize the recommendation letter to council. Items regarding property owners within the interface area would also be placed on the agenda as requested by Brock.
IV. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Kate Hartzell notified the commission of a meeting she had with Keith Woodley regarding a comprehensive campaign aimed at property owners within the forest interface zone. She invited the commission to participate in the project.
V. ADJOURNED AT 7:12 PM