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Forest Lands Commission (View All)

Forest Lands Commission November Minutes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009



Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

            Siskiyou Room, Community Development Building

51 Winburn Way




I.                   CALL TO ORDER: 5:30 PM

Present: Tony Kerwin, Marty Main (contract forester), John Williams, Melody Noraas, Christopher Iverson, Chris Chambers (staff), John Karns (Fire Chief), Pieter Smeenk (staff), Gary Pool (public), Dan Maymar, Craig Gorson.


II.                INTRODUCTIONS 

Gary Pool introduced himself again. He recently put in an application to become a commissioner.


III.             APPROVAL OF MINUTES: October 13th meeting

Approved with edits of typo in first paragraph under “Public Outreach Plan Discussion”. An “o” was left without a finished sentence so it was removed and further edits proposed by Kerwin to remove the term “more legacy trees” in that same sentence were accepted.  

IV.              PUBLIC FORUM




VI.              BUSINESS

A.     Ashland Forest Resiliency Review & Update

Record of Decision is signed and the FS has dedicated a person (Don Boucher) to work on AFR full time.  Forest Service is putting in plots for AFR monitoring.  Marty has been inspecting the data collection, which will eventually include 700 plots. Plots are close to the City for now and will likely continue work until winter and then pick up again in the spring. There is funding for the AFR project, at least two million dollars which includes monitoring.  There is more monitoring identified by stakeholders that is not funded, but still important.  Water quality is one—Pieter talked briefly about sediment monitoring that the Forest Service will do in the reservoir. Melody said that Parks is already planning water quality monitoring in Lithia Park (Ashland Creek).  SOU students may be available through North Mt Park program to do macroinvertebrate studies in the watershed.  Marty stressed the importance of 700 plots being installed—a high number that supports good monitoring. Dan asked about the plot locations and Marty explained that they are randomly located for statistical analysis and not nested.    


Discussion then centered on SOU’s potential involvement.  Students are working on getting a structure in place for SOU to be involved with AFR in a programmatic way.


B.     AFR Community Engagement-FLC’s role

Chris explained the upcoming meeting and potential role for FLC.

Marty reminded the commission that the FLC role has historically been involved on City Lands, but with AFR the need to focus on federal land is apparent and we need to recognize that different roles will be needed.  Gorson wondered what roles the FLC will play—just monitoring?  Gorson asked what position Linda Duffy is in now. Marty explained that Tim Chesley is the interim ranger and they’ll hire a new district ranger in the coming months.

Tony had a discussion with Darren Borgias about the monitoring of AFR and how the FLC will fit in. Tony asked what the FLC’s role will be in monitoring. Marty explained that he is inspecting the Forest Service’s plots right now as a piece of monitoring.  Tony wanted to know what the process might look like.  Chambers explained a two part process involving community engagement and technical monitoring with subcommittees for each. Pieter said that public works will be trying to get water quality monitoring funding in the coming budget-but that may not continue into the future and more funding would help. Chambers said the City will be negotiating with the Forest Service for a role in AFR implementation and possible funding. Dan asked if there is additional work that the Forest Service contractor establishing plots could do. Marty said it’s unlikely that the could accommodate that right now in the process. The addition of the plots being permanent was a request of the City.  There was an oversight committee who oversaw the NFF grant for AFR monitoring that composed of the City, USFS, and The Nature Conservancy.  This committee is still working, but the organization of this oversight group is in limbo.  Gorson said the NFF effort was good and the group who worked on it did good work at involving the public. Iverson suggested being involved intimately in the middle of the process in order to be a liaison for public engagement and monitoring. Marty suggested that the community-based monitoring component is in place and can continue to serve an important role that the FLC can be involved in.  Gorson said that what we want to monitor has largely been indentified by technical folks, which is important.  Marty reminded the group that even if AFR didn’t go forward, there’s still a role for the FLC to be involved in City land management, monitoring, and public education.  Chief Karns likes the idea of the FLC facilitating public interaction on the project and the commission agreed that would be a good role. The website has been established and can be used for public communication.  Marty said that the FS has taken the FLC’s recommendations on implementation planning from 2007 and is using them now. Iverson said that the we’re looking ahead in this process to shortcut potential problems.  There are a few groups who have many members locally that could be tapped into. Melody likes the idea of the FLC serving as a coordinating body.  Dan questioned the role of the FLC as advisory to the Council and how that would function in AFR. Chief Karns said it would likely be part of a larger proposal going to Council for City involvement in the process.


Marty pointed out that SOU is more interested in participating in both Forest Service and City forestlands management. It would be advisable to pursue another student liaison from SOU.




C.     Public Outreach Plan Continued Discussion

Iverson reviewed the Ashland Watershed Map Contest handout. Chambers will look into how the Commission money can be spent. An award?

Committee discussed the process by which artists will create and submit maps and how they will be judged. Suggestions included changing the handout to more succinct text and blowing up the sample map. Marty suggested adding other members to the panel that judges the map. Iverson listed the components of the map. Others suggested winnowing this list down to key components.  Iverson will post the flyers around town and Chambers will get the information onto, including a watershed “normal” map. Deadline for submissions needs to be established—first draft due in 2 months.  Tidings article would be great.

Gorson wondered if there was an update on schools involvement and how Laurie Hayden could be involved with her classroom presentation about forests.  Iverson said she’s waiting to see if the FLC would move on getting funding for it.  Gorson is interested in getting funding and so is Iverson. 

Can the FLC craft letters independent of the Council?  What are the limits?


D.     Ashland Forest Plan Update Discussion

Tony will get something crafted and submitted to city staff about updating the forest plan to see what interest there is in the community and proceed accordingly.

E.      Commission 3-Year Goals

Will deal with this at a later date.




Marty has been to a couple symposiums in the past month regarding dry forests, wildlife, and fire. He was impressed with the integration of these disciplines and felt good about the work the FLC and others have done in Ashland.



A.     Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting: December 8th, 2009


IX.           ADJOURN: 7:30 PM







In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the Public Works Office at 488-5587 (TTY phone number 1 800 735 2900).  Notification 48 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting (28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title I).

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