Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, August 08, 2001
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
August 8, 2001 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Joe Charter, Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen, Bill Robertson (Chair}
Members Absent: Fred Binnewies, John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Staff: Keith Woodley, Nancy Slocum
Guests: Marty Main, Eric Navickas, Jay Lininger
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:35 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: July 11, 2001minutes approved with two minor deletions.
III. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Discussion of Commercial Thinning and Salvage on Forest Lands – Robertson asked Main if there was potentially enough timber to have a separate sale on each of the two city owned parcels. Main guessed that both parcels could stand alone. Brock suggested a plan to lead the discussion: 1) look at the existing inventories and perhaps add an inventory of the Winburn orchids and spotted owls; 2) reorganize and determine where to go; and 3) make the applicable decisions including developing criteria for size, riparian zone, canopy, down woody debris, etc. He asked what the commission wanted to accomplish (e.g. conservative thinning?). Brock wanted to see fire models run with different quantities of woody debris to enhance soil development, etc. Main did woody debris runs for Winburn Parcel at 30 tons/acre (compared to the Forest Service’s 5-10 tons/acre) with up to 50” diameter trees that have been on the ground ten years or more. By contrast, the lower canyon does not have much woody debris. It is difficult to create down woody debris in riparian areas and thought it better to grow trees that will later become down woody debris. Watershed level objectives on Forest Service lands and not on city owned land. It is okay as long as the overall objectives are met. Main showed an overhead of snag occurrence on City of Ashland ownership. Snags per acre are greater on the Winburn parcel. Jensen wondered if the commission would consider thinning snags. Main replied it would depend upon objectives.
Brock read his notes from last meeting outlining decisions he thought the Commission needed to consider: how much course woody material to leave, how to manage mistletoe, snag density and location, management in draws and geologically sensitive zones, upper diameter limit, and thinning in actual “old growth” on Winburn. Betljewski said the surrounding land is under Federal regulations, but the City falls under the Oregon Forest Practices Act. Need a set of objectives like those stated in the Forest Plan on page 44. He would like to see key definitions (eg: “old growth”) defined.
Main presented an overhead listing the work spearheaded by the commission from 1995-2001. It included:
1) Surveys, prescriptions
2) Non-commercial stand improvement, fuel reduction-prioritized overtime
4) Prescribed underburning with USFS
5) Sale of commercial logs, hazard reduction – 1995, 1996, 2000
6) Native grass establishment, stand density around large mature conifers
7) Trail management
Main explained that the commission objectives were “written on the landscape.” Eggers wanted to review the commission’s mandate including goals and objectives. Charter and Betlejewski agreed.
Roberston asked Navikas and Lininger to speak. Navikas said he had hiked the Winburn parcel. In the early 1990’s the area was heavily logged and half of the Douglas fir canopy was removed. Recently non-commercial work was completed leaving little fire hazard in his opinion. He thought a commercial sale was a statement that the city supports logging. Navikas gave a brief history of the city’s position on stand reduction. He believed the entire Winburn parcel should be considered riparian and off limits to logging.
Lininger asked the commission to state its position on stand density reduction for the record. He thought it was appropriate to implement the Ashland Forest Plan or change it if necessary. He thought the commission should identify how past action supported Forest Plan goals, how present plans met the goals and how future plans could meet them. He thought fuel reduction should be prioritized with Hamilton Creek, Roca Creek finished before the Winburn parcel. He would like the commission to look at fire as a means of density reduction before mechanical manipulation.
Betlejewski asked Lininger the type of fire burning he wished-for. Lininger preferred broadcasting as a first option, but the time of year would make a difference. Brock thought broadcast burning would not get the needed big trees and preferred piling and burning. All the existing reports say the stands are too dense. He believed the ultimate goal was tree health.
Main believed the objective of stand density reduction was water protection on the lower city owned parcel. He would like to see the vegetation and canopy maintained. Charter believed the unstated consensus was that something needed to be done. He thought the commission should articulate it. Public input was his number one priority. Charter thought the commission should present the council with all the options including burning. Robertson suggested using the September meeting to review goals.
B. Review of City Council Presentation on July 17th – Jensen thanked Robertson for leading the presentation. The council expressed appreciation to the commission. Brock added that Councilor Hartzell supports a sustainable lumber resolution.
C. Review of Potential Utility Billing/Tidings Articles – Betlejewski asked for suggestions and comments regarding his two articles. Brock wondered why the year 1920 was significant and thought it might be misconstrued by the public as a city goal for the land. Betlejewski said it was a snapshot in time rather than a historical record. Brock suggested adding that the “forest is a dynamic system” for both articles and simplify the language. Commission agreed. Betlejewski will rework the articles and present them at the next meeting.
IV. REPORTS – None due to time limitation.
V. OTHER BUSINESS
VI. ADJOURNED AT 6:17 PM