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Forest Lands Commission (View All)

Minutes for FLC September 8th Meeting

Tuesday, September 08, 2009



Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Community Development, 51 Winburn Way



I.                   CALL TO ORDER: 5:40 PM

Present: Greg Lemhouse, Laurie Hayden, Christopher Iverson, Dan Maymar, John Williams, Craig Gorson, Tony Kerwin, Darren Borgias, Frank Betlejewski, Peiter Smeenk, John Karns, Marty Main, Chris Chambers.


II.                INTRODUCTIONS 

Introductions were made, including guest Laurie Hayden from Talk About Trees.


III.             APPROVAL OF MINUTES: July 14th meeting (no August meeting)

Iverson/Williams m/s to approve minutes as taken. All in favor.


IV.              PUBLIC FORUM




Adjustments to the agenda: After discussion, commission agreed to move AFR update to first item under Business.  


VI.              BUSINESS

A.                 AFR Review & Update

Darren Borgias commented on the multiparty monitoring effort with funding from NFF. Website in development, RNA plots are being used as pilot data and creating outputs and summaries to be used for guidance and put up on the upcoming webpage. The oversight committee will be completing a stakeholder monitoring plan by Sept 18th that the FLC can review beforehand. An AFR hike is scheduled for this Saturday the 12th, lead by Marty Main. Social capacity and public involvement meetings have taken place and Chris Chambers is drawing up a public education and involvement plan as a result. The ROD is not signed yet and is still waiting on the sec of Ag’s desk because of conflicting court rulings although the project is in accord with both rulings.

Councilor Lemhouse described his interaction with Senator Wyden’s staff and communications with Wyden’s staff who are talking with the Secretary of Agriculture’s office to get the AFR project moving through the decision process. Lemhouse would appreciate continued input to pass along.  


Frank Betlejewski described his monitoring and data gathering efforts in a section of the lower watershed including lots of low vigor trees, a lack of large sugar pine and black oak, and comparison to 1939 conditions via the aerial photos. Frank said that the Community Alternative prescriptions will not get us back to the pre-fire suppression conditions in the forest, which were much less dense.  Frank described the 1916-17 revestment notes from the watershed area and the densities were much lower than they are now.  He commented that most of the ingrowth is smaller Doug-fir under larger trees such as ponderosa pine.

Darren Borgias speculated that madrone was less common and Frank said in 1917 there was presence of madrone on 80% of the parcels surveyed, as well as 80% of ponderosa and sugar pine.  Marty said this might have been in a recently burned area back then.


Gorson said this might be useful for communicating to Washington DC. Councilor Lemhouse agreed and stressed the importance of simple communications to our congressional reps. Lemhouse will continue to communicate with Wyden’s office.

Input from the FLC will help deliver the message that AFR needs to move forward.

Message is timely due to western fires and Ashland’s water curtailment.


B.           Public Outreach Plan Continued Discussion

1.  Watershed Education in Schools with Laurie Hayden

Laurie Hayden spoke about her efforts educating local schools about forest issues.  Her background is working with children and she has time this coming spring to help educate children about the watershed. She has connections in the schools and has taught K-6 in the past.  She’s willing to work with the FLC to develop opportunities and curriculum.

Gorson spoke about his daughter’s experience at a State gathering about Oregon’s future. There are a lot of issues about the future of Oregon and how to teach children more about forestry. Gorson would like to set up a sub-committee to develop a plan. 

Darren pointed out that in a recent public meeting for AFR the attendees wanted to see more education and a relationship with SOU and the Ashland School District. The FLC’s vision for participation can be all connected to AFR outreach issues.

Williams suggested drafting a letter to Juli DiChiro about the FLC’s goals and using Laurie Hayden to help implement it in the spring. He concerned that the ASD has plans already for this year’s curriculum and costs are an issue. Laurie’s experience is that teachers are flexible, but it depends on what level of involvement the commission is interested in. Iverson suggested moving forward with Laurie in the elementary levels and then move up to older grades. Her current approach is 50 minute visits that are easy to get into classrooms—only these would be focused on the watershed and not just forestry in general. Iverson wanted to keep it simple and start with short classes and get it funded.

Chambers brought up a book that already exists that has curriculum about forests and fires that could be adapted for this project. Williams said North Mt Park is already doing this work with kids talking about water cycles.  Teachers may or may not take their kids to N Mt Park for this—it’s worth finding out what they’re doing.

Gorson and other suggested tying together efforts to gather more support and funding. Gorson wanted to form a subcommittee, Iverson wants to wait for the commission to come up with a direction first, then form a sub-committee. Iverson wants to work with Laurie to develop the curriculum and the FLC to find funding.  Laurie volunteered to develop a proposal for the commission that would be a starting place to move forward.

Iverson stressed the importance of having a curriculum in place to shop around for funding. The watershed map has the same elements that we want to communicate in a curriculum.  The map could even be part of the lesson in the class.  Williams suggested providing Laurie with the executive summary from the Winburn plan.


2.      Watershed Map

Iverson suggested finalizing the map concept in the next two meetings and presenting it to the community in November to generate submissions that the FLC will select one of in January and print for March.

Will it be black and white with the ability to color it? Or just in color?  Williams suggested doing both.  Black and white is useful for kids, and cheap to print.  Key objectives are to communicate geographic places, water delivery, where water comes from, fire danger, who owns/manages the watershed, what is AFR, what is smoke in the watershed for. Marty suggested adding changes to the forest over time.  Tony wanted to keep the map simple and not address too many things. Iverson suggested advertising it on a flyer to get submissions and Gorson would like to see it on a website. 

Iverson said the info will fit on one page.  Iverson will send out the priorities for the map.


3.      Hike Schedule—September AFR hike and beyond

No new hikes scheduled. This Saturday’s AFR hike will begin at 9am at the ice rink parking lot.


C.     Ashland Forest Plan Update Discussion

Kerwin and Iverson recalled advice from Rich Whitley about assessing the community.  Iverson suggested a timed release of the information. Kerwin would like to keep it going through the winter. Marty said that the contractor who wrote the plan brought together a committee and held some meetings to gather input on the plan in 1991.  Williams suggested holding community meetings. Marty suggested bringing someone on to help guide this process. Tony will talk with Rich Whitley about coming back to speak again, Marty stressed being ready to move forward if Rich comes to the next meeting.

Chambers will attach notes from the meeting when Rich came and spoke to the FLC. Marty suggested tying in with the AFR outreach effort, but be careful not to be overwhelmed by AFR efforts. Provide examples of the work on City lands—tie in with communication on AFR.   


D.    Commission 3-Year Goals

No work on this item.





A.     Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting: October 13th, 2009


IX.           ADJOURN: 7:25 PM


Respectfully submitted by Chris Chambers September 9, 2009


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