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Agendas and Minutes

Forest Lands Commission (View All)

Minutes from 06/09/09 meeting

Tuesday, June 09, 2009




June 9, 2009 – 5:30 PM

Community Development Building, 51 Winburn Way



MEMBERS PRESENT:  Christopher Iverson, Craig Gorson, Melody Noraas, John Williams, Greg Lemhouse (Council Liaison)

Members Absent:          Tony Kerwin, Dan Maymar

Staff Present:                Chris Chambers

                                      Pieter Smeenk

Others Present:            Contracting Forester, Marty Main

                                     Terry Baker, US Forest Service

                                               Scott Spangler, SOU Student

                                               Frank Betlejewski, citizen





CALL TO ORDER: Meeting called to order at 5:35 PM

NOTE: Both the Chair and Vice Chair were absent, so Chris Iverson volunteered to chair the meeting.  There were no objections.



Minutes reviewed m/s to approve as is Craig Gorson/John Williams.



2)      PUBLIC FORUM: 

Introductions: Scott Spangler introduced himself. Terry Baker from the Forest Service introduced himself.  Greg Lemhouse mentioned that he will give liason updates to the Council in the future and he’s eager to help with the business of the commission.


Frank B explained his participation in the AFR project for Greg Lemhouse and has been hiking in the watershed to come up with a report for the commission on AFR implementation. 


Further introductions were done for the sake of Scott.








  1. Public Outreach Plan Continued Discussion
    1. Hike Schedule—Chris Chambers reviewed the Parks Department advertised hike in the watershed. The intent was to have the Commission decide where to go.  Discussion centered on a trip to Winburn, Marty can’t be there on the 20th.  Decided that Chris Chambers will lead the hike and go to the interface to tour City, private, and Forest Service land along the Alice in Wonderland trail.  Motion was made that Chris C lead the hike and Melody will find out how many people are signed up and Chris C will pass on the location to the Parks Dept.
    2. Chris Iverson reviewed the Public Outreach Plan discussion from last meeting including the things that the commission wants people to understand, what to put forward as part of this effort—art, brochures, etc.

Melody brought the City’s H2Oh pamphlet as an example.  Pieter explained that it costs a couple thousand dollars to produce it, and it’s for a different purpose.  Chris Iverson explained the city/watershed art map idea and how to achieve it.  John Williams supports this idea and to have someone local do it for cheap/free.  John suggested doing an RFP to get someone interested and selected.  Gorse suggested information and contact numbers be included.


Chris I motioned: First order of business for the community outreach plan is to create a map of Ashland and the watershed. Marty mentioned that the hikes were actually the first phase of this.

Motion withdrawn by CI and corrected to say “Second order of business for the community outreach plan is to create a map of Ashland and the watershed.”


Chris would like to plan a date for the September hike, agenda item for next meeting.


2.      Marty explained the Winburn Plan presentation to Council on June 2.

Marty did an overview of City lands management and Tony explained the Winburn Plan. Greg Lemhouse offered to help the commission achieve its goals.  Council wants the Commission to bring significant projects back to Council for approval.  Greg sensed a lot of support for the plans in the Council.  John Williams asked what the next step would be.  Marty explained that in the past the Fire Chief worked to implement projects and that was intricately involved with the Commission.  New Chief might chart another course, but not likely. Chris Iverson mentioned the things that might bring a lot of attention: cutting larger trees, logging, road building. Gorson suggested getting a spot in the Tidings for an update.  Iverson supported finding support in the press, but not doing anything specific yet. Marty still wants to outline a history of City forestlands management, and he’s ready to do that. Iverson would like to have this information for the Commission’s use in education.  Marty pointed out that institutional memory is important. Commission offered to hear it at the meeting.  Gorson asked whether or not someone is involved as an historian to record people’s experiences. Marty presented the history he worked up: a sum of activities by unit and a chronological ordering of management activities.


Marty explained the beginnings of the Ashland Forest Plan and the creation of the FLC.  The beginning of management was some brush clearing around Crowson Reservoir.  Studies continued with Marty’s assessment and prioritization of City lands including slope stability, wildfire, and silvicultural.  Objectives have been wildfire protection, water quality, and forest health with wildlife added for Winburn.  Prescriptions were developed to meet priorities, mostly understory thinning.  Work was done on City lands.  In 2001 an analysis was created of the entire interface zone to rate the interface for possible grant funded work. Chris Chambers was hired to implement the National Fire Plan grant money for fuels reduction on City and private land on many acres and hundreds of owners.  By 2002, City priorities were largely accomplished for understory thinning and the process began leading up to the lower City lands helicopter thinning sale that accomplished objectives and broke even on the cost.  The process was open to the public with tours and meetings with little if any opposition from citizens.


Data plots were established on City lands in 2000.  Plot data has been very useful to establish the basis for management and to make decisions.  Melody asked about the outreach done at the time.  Marty explained it was a combination of formal and informal outreach.  Gorson asked when the idea of putting out fires has had an effect on the forests became apparent among the experts.  Marty replied that that happened in the early 1970’s. 

Marty showed the post treatment report he did a couple years ago on the lower City lands.  This then lead into the Winburn Plan process.  Also we’ve been involved with the Forest Service since 2004 on the watershed project.  Marty asked Frank B to comment on the history.  Frank commented on a comment made by a former Council liaison asking how much the documents that the FLC put out would be worth if contracted out.  Frank is encouraged by the current focus on public outreach. 

Lots of people have put in a lot of time over the years.  Gorson was interested in the fire protection aspect and what’s been accomplished in the relationship with the Forest Service. Marty said an important role of the FLC has been to create this relationship.


3.      SOU Liaison Discussion

Iverson thanked Scott Spangler for coming. Chambers explained that there isn’t a formal SOU Liaison identified in the Charter. This doesn’t restrict Scott’s participation, but he cannot vote or be formally recognized as an SOU liaison.  The commission decided to talk about the role of an SOU student being involved.  Gorson’s idea is to have SOU education department work to get watershed issues into local classrooms.  Lemhouse made the point that getting the average student/person involved and interested in environmental issues is important.  Marty has been working with SOU professors to increase the relationship between SOU and the City and Forest Service.  The seeds are being planted for continued involvement in this process as especially the AFR project is implemented.  Melody suggested Scott be a communication link for the commission.  Melody asked if Greg would be figuring out how to formalize the SOU liaison position.  Greg will bring this up with Council, and Chris Chambers will ask the City Recorder what the formal process is.  Scott will be included in the outreach planning and encouraged to participate.  Scott thought that going to clubs around campus can get students involved.  Terry Baker commented that there is a little bit of many disciplines (economics, criminology, sociology) in forest resource management.  John Williams wrote down four points for the SOU liaison: 1. monitoring, 2. education 3. enroll an artist for the map 4. Ecological surveys/monitoring.  Marty commented that the monitoring is already in progress.


4.      AFR Review and Update

Terry gave an update.  There is no decision on the document, but the FS continues to get ready.  The multi-party monitoring meeting is this Friday.  Chris Chambers made the point that a quorum of the FLC or City Council cannot be present without it being noticed as a public meeting.  It doesn’t appear that there will be a quorum of the Council, and the FLC should decide who will go, not to exceed 3 members. 

Terry mentioned that the FS received regional funding for insect and disease prevention treatments in the Ashland Creek Research Natural Area, which will be part of the AFR project.

Frank gave an update on his field review around the White Rabbit trailhead, about 400 acres.  Franks preliminary finding include drier plant communities (PAGs) than the DEIS indicated.  Moist Doug-fir PAG is confined to riparian zones.  There are some very steep slopes (90% and more).  There are lots of insects and diseases present as well, including widespread Douglas-fir mistletoe.  Frank would like to put this into a geodatabase. He would like a key to the lower gate.


Greg Lemhouse would like the Commission to review Council goals before they are finalized.

Chambers reminded all present that there is a vacancy on the commission and commissioners should spread the word if they know people who would be interested in applying.


Meeting adjourned at 7:35.


Respectfully Submitted,


Chris Iverson, Acting Chair

Chris Chambers, Forest Resource Specialist



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