Agendas and Minutes

Forest Lands Committee (View All)

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



January 13, 2008 – 5:30 PM

Community Development, 51 Winburn Way



MEMBERS PRESENT:            Christopher Iverson, Anthony Kerwin (Chair), Dan Maymar,

                                                                                    Melody Noraas, Ben Rice, John Williams

Members Absent:                                 Craig Gorson, Ben Rice

Staff Present:                                                   Chris Chambers, Larry Langston, Nancy Slocum, Pieter Smeenk


I.                CALL TO ORDER: Chair Kerwin called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm in the Siskiyou Room.


II.              APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Iverson / Williams m/s to approve the minutes of November 18, 2008 as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.


III.            PUBLIC FORUM:  Summer Waters, a new resident of Ashland, wanted to observe the meeting to learn more about management of the watershed.





A.     Plan Prescribed Burning Public Outreach Forum

Kerwin noted that the Ashland Forest Plan was adopted in by the City Council in 1992 and was in need of an update. For example, the plan says that the Commission will manage city-owned forest lands for a “timber harvest.”


The current plan encourages community involvement that the Commission would like to expand. Chambers volunteered to contact Joan Resnick, The Real Life Training Group, about the cost to develop a public outreach plan and perhaps facilitate the process. He will report at the next meeting.


B.     Winburn Parcel Restoration Plan

Commissioner Ben Rice forwarded staff comments on the Winburn plan. Commission reviewed them and made some changes to the draft plan.


Williams volunteered to draft a one page executive summary. Glossary terms, “brushing,” “Pre-commercial thinning,” “noxious weeds” were added to the plan. Noraas recommended that appendixes be added to help explain more complex concepts such as “slope classification system” and “Landslide Zonation and Hazard” (Hicks study).


Commission would like to have the draft ready for a vote at the next meeting.


IV.            NEW BUSINESS: 

A.     Plan Prescribed Burning Public Outreach Forum

Chambers would like the Commission to host a public forum on prescribed burning as the City plans to begin burning this spring or fall. He noted that prescribed burning was not a new policy for Ashland (it is documented in the Ashland Forest Plan; the City Forest Restoration Plan, Phase II; and Ashland Wildland/Urban Interface Wildfire Management Inventory, Analysis and Opportunities, Main 2002), but it has not been implemented in many years. The Fire Department will reeducate the public through an informational presentation to the City Council on February 3rd and then the public forum at the Forest Lands Commission on February 10th.


Chambers has the required burn plan almost ready to go. The first priorities are Unit D1 and F, then Unit E2 or Unit J.  Last year the Fire Department was contacted by Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to spend left over grant money and they explored some prescribed burning using an ODF crew for the underburning. ODF crews had a lot of fire experience, but little prescribed burn experience. Although hot weather cancelled burning for the year, the exercise was a good motivator to prepare for this year. If ODF crews are used in the future, the Forest Service would leave the City liable. In addition, the City worked with the Forest Service on a small burn two years ago and the final the costs were high. The Fire Department may contract work through a Request for Proposal. Chambers said the estimated cost should be $100 to $300 per acre.


B.     USDA Title II Funding Application

Chambers explained that the new Economic Stimulus Package funded Title II projects for four more years with funding reduced by 10% each year. The Rogue/Umpqua RAC consists of 15 members representing a variety of interests who have historically awarded money to only “agency-sponsored” projects. Chambers thought it best to partner with the Forest Service on any project. He said the money would need to be spent by 2012. Chambers thought that the Forest Service would be applying for implementation and monitoring money for AFR during both the FY 09 and FY 10 funding cycles.


Maymar moved to have Kerwin write a letter of support for the Forest Services’ Title II applications on behalf of the Commission. Noraas seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


V.              COMMISSIONER COMMENTS: Iverson could not attend the February Commission meeting and asked that “Public Outreach Plan” be placed on the March agenda. The discussion would include the need for more hikes and a three minute promotional video.


VI.            ADJOURN: Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM.


Tony Kerwin, Chair

Respectfully Submitted, Nancy Slocum, Clerk

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