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Forest Lands Commission (View All)

April Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



April 14, 2009 Ė 5:30 PM

Community Development, 51 Winburn Way



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

                                                                                    Ben Rice, John Williams           

Members Absent:                              Craig Gorson, Melody Noraas

Staff Present:                                     Chris Chambers, Pieter Smeenk, Margueritte Hickman

Others Present:                                  Contracting Forester, Marty Main

                                                                                    Rich Whitley, Consultant

                                                                                    Frank Betlejewski, Public



CALL TO ORDER: Chair Tony Kerwin called the meeting to order at 5:35pm.


I.                   APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Chambers mentioned a misspelling in the minutes of Jim Janousekís name. Correction approved. Iverson / Rice m/s to approve the minutes of March 10, 2009 with correction. Motion passed unanimously.


II.                PUBLIC FORUM: 

Frank Betlejewski, former Commission and active AFRCAT member, will do his walk through of existing conditions in an area of the watershed in the Lamb Saddle area instead of Panther Peak.  Heíll go up this Saturday, Ben Rice will join him at 6:30am.  




 Marty brought up his recent work on a City Lands monitoring plan. Heíll submit it to the FLC next meeting. Baseline data is good, and a good time to look at where we are in the context of a plan.


Tony introduced Rich Whitley to talk about public involvement in the AFP update (see New Business)


III.             NEW BUSINESS:


Rich Whitleyís background is with the BLM as a national partnership coordinator for diverse interests working with the BLM.  Rich and his wife have a training and consulting group and Joan has worked with the FLC in the past on the CWPP effort. Given how much input the community has on resource issues, Rich has these ideas:

  1. Do a scan of whatís happening and on the books. Determine whatís working and done/undone. Documents include the AFP, CWPP, Restoration Plan. Look at why itís working or NOT working. This should be the first engagement with the community, honest is key. Then find out what the interest of the community is, how they feel about whatís going on. Focus on what you find out from the community and design work around this. Develop an adaptive management approach, gather data.  Adaptive management should be done more frequently based on the level of interest. This allows the plan to be updated frequently and avoid big updates.
  2. Donít over commit on public process. Adding as you go if interest increases is a good way to go. Subtracting it loses trust.
  3. Make a clear distinction about what process is going on, confusion with the AFR project process, how they are different and related.


Discussion: Rich thought that the public outreach plan draft was good. Cautioned that the FLC should do the scan to see where they are first. Let the public know what has been done and where things are right now.

Chris I. recognized that the plan is a wish list and some elements may or may not work. Rich pointed out that you donít want to create divisions that didnít exist, there may be outliers who donít agree, but not everyone can be happy especially if a large percentage of the population is happy.  Listen to everyone and change it if it makes sense.

Chris wondered if the community might understand the AFP more than what the committee does or the other way around. Ben asked what specific steps Rich could help with. Rich said he can help develop any of the steps he outlined, but itís up to the FLC.  Need to think carefully about the money and time commitment.  A good process would let the community guide what happens.

Rich suggests a report to the community on the Forest Plan and the update. Tony explained the various plans from Phase I to Phase III at Winburn, plus AFR and the CWPP. Need to bring all that in and analyze with the AFP in mind. Rich would like to see the report cover all the work on City lands, bring the community up to speed and establish a starting point. Marty said he could sum up all the work thatís been done on City land over the years and bring to next meeting. Commission agreed he should do that.

Rich questioned what size the new plan should be and try to keep it succinct. Many planning efforts get stuck with the planning process and lose track of the work on the ground. Continuous updates keep the community on board and the plan vital, saving time in the future on planning.  Marty likes Richís view of the process and believes the City has done a similar approach over the years of an iterative planning approach.  Tony asked that Chris C look in the CWPP for redundancy. Rich is happy to participate as needed in this process, either as a paid consultant for larger commitment or just questions here and there gratis.

Chris said that many of the people want to know whatís being done about the fire threat, what will happen if thereís a fire, and where their water comes from. Rich explained the three ways that people learn and encouraged the FLC to use all three. Media is important, and so are experiences like field trips.

Marty wanted to hear about Richís experience with other communities. Rich said that some communities are in gridlock around their resource management, even municipal watersheds with high fire danger.  Federal managers have often failed to sit down with the local community. Santa Fe worked for 15 years before they got anything done on the ground. Science has played a larger part here, monitoring is important and being done here. The level of monitoring is a big sticking point for many communities. Rich said weíre ahead of most communities, even on private land where owners are very hands off.  Marty remembered when Ashland was more like that in the 1990ís.


  1. Earth Day- Chris C and Chris will coordinate materials, canopy. Tony will come down for a while. Ben will come if heís available. Rich suggested a short survey for Earth Day related to the AFP. Chris I. suggested a poster board with some issues on it, at least a way to engage people in conversation. Chris C has some color books and pencils that could be used for kids.



C. Public Outreach Plan Discussion

Chris wants to review and see if outreach plan is feasible. Phase one could be a retrospective and then designing a process for updating the AFP. FLC agreed that they should get the community up to speed on whatís happening first. John suggested that a cartoon map of the watershed could be neat to see.  Everyone agreed that artists would be interested in the project, maybe a competition. Chris: All the items might take 2-3 years to implement. Need to point out the positive aspects of whatís happening. VolunteersóMargueritte asked what would be done, Chris said physical work. Margueritte said that the City has other volunteers in Police and CERT and itís likely it can be done in some way.

Rich: School district involvement would be great, the Forest Service has said they support that. Chris: Need an SOU liaison to the FLC to help make the connection between SOU and the City Forests.  Marty said thatís underway already. John has used SOU students in his business with success.  Marty said that OSU extension has a water quality monitoring program that can be used in any school district, it just has to be requested.

Marty will continue developing the relationship with SOU. Marty: need to be careful not to get students ready to do something without a guaranteed project. Lots of expertise at SOU that we could use, and could benefit them.  Need a monitoring plan in place and thatís being worked on. Marty had a handful of students from SOU involved for capstone projects, but it fell through when the USFS didnít get involved.  Rich: SOU is redesigning some of their programs to focus on Science and involvement with community. Rich thinks that they will be on the cutting edge of science to be communicating with the public.


Review of Chrisí public outreach document:

1.      Conversation with Rich covered this point

2.      Map instead of brochure

3.      Power point might work with the map. Could go on the City website. Chris C suggested use of Google Earth as a way to communicate with younger generation (or other media). Rich suggested use of scenario based programs, that kind of program has let communities do a lot of good work with this tool.  Some software may be free to communities, Orton Family foundation.  Rich will look into it. Marty is working on a paper regarding the use of ORGANON data like the City has, to show what happens when certain trees are cut.

List of questions that could be answered during the presentation. Dan pointed out that maybe we should shoot for one presentation rather than power point and then something interactive. Rich pointed out that the scenario based programs could be used to recreate the history of management and present to the community.

4.      Chris I. wants to get the Mayor involved since heís a proponent of the watershed and managing fire hazard. Chris has some experience with video production.  Weíd need to develop a script for him.

5.      Need to check with the City Attorney about liability.

6.      Melody has been absent, but we need to ask her about a collaboration with Parks.

7.      Important topic to get students involved. Rich suggested looking at the Child in Nature project. Need to get in with the local school district.

8.      Chris thinks this should be used conservatively at first, maybe once or twice a year.  Ben suggested combining items 5, 8, 11 and Chris agreed. Chris C will double check on the date for the Parks related hikes and get back to Chris I.

9.      Will keep thinking about this one

10.  Combine this with making the watershed map. Engage the schools with this as well.

11.  Summary of item given by Chris.  This will get people who want to do something an avenue to get involved in the watershed.


Chris would like to move forward on this plan and get it formalized by next time.


D. AFR Update (Marty)

Monitoring Plan under the NFF Grant is ongoing. An oversight committee is in place reps from City, FS, TNC. On the verge of completing a monitoring plan to be included in the ROD.  Two parts to the plan include a Forest Service required piece and then monitoring above and beyond what the FS can fund. The community will be responsible for this piece of monitoring, and the funding of it. The City has been pushing for all the monitoring to be included in the Record of Decision. Marty explained that research money had been applied for from the Joint Fire Sciences Program to track how spotted owls respond to treatments in the watershed. This was a key piece to monitoring, but was denied. Still a possibility in the future. Marty would like to see the City support an effort to get funding for this piece of the monitoring on owls.  Next step on the AFR Monitoring plan is to go out to a Stakeholder Group to prioritize monitoring efforts/funding. The Stakeholders will include the FLC, AFRCATS and others. This is an important piece of what was agreed to with the FS on the CWPP. Rich has some ideas about the funding of monitoring.





Ben Rice will be leaving the Commission to move to Maine.  This will be his last meeting.


Next meeting, a vote will be held for Chair of the Committee. Tony will take it again unless there are others interested.


VII.      ADJOURN: Meeting adjourned at 7:31 PM.


Tony Kerwin, Chair

Respectfully Submitted, Chris Chambers, Forest Resource Specialist


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