Regular Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
ASHLAND FOREST LANDS COMMISSION
September 12, 2001 4:30 – 6:00 PM
MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Fred Binnewies, Richard Brock, Joe Charter, Jo Anne Eggers, Stephen Jensen, Bill Robertson (Chair}
Members Absent: John Morrison (Council Liaison)
Staff: Keith Woodley, Karl Johnson, Nancy Slocum
Guests: Marty Main, Small Woodland Services; Derek Volkart, Headwaters; Eric Navickas and Joseph Vail, Klamath Siskiyou Wildland Center; Jay Lininger
I. CALL TO ORDER AT 4:37 PM
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: August 8, 2001minutes approved with minor deletions.
III. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION:
A. Review of Commission Goals – Roberston reminded the commission that consultant and retired forester Ron McCormick wrote the Ashland Forest Plan, including the goals and policies, over a two-year period ending in May 1992. Commissioner Eggers suggested organizing the goals into three categories: organizational goals, public involvement goals and ecosystem health goals. Commission agreed. Discussion followed and commission edited the Ashland Forest Plan goals and strategies as attached. Navickas asked the commission to consider including a statement of support for minority opinions. Commission agreed and added such language under Goal 6.
Regarding recreational use of city-owned forestlands, Binnewies suggested language limiting public use for protection of the watershed. The rest of the commission disagreed. Woodley said there were two schools of thought regarding the public use of forest lands: 1) for fire spotting, the more eyes on the forest the better or 2) more people meant more fire starts. In his personal experience he knew of no recreationalist started fires, but they have put fires out. He thought the biggest issues for recreational users were erosion and/or trespass.
Charter left the meeting at 6:15.
Regarding ecosystem health, commission discussed definition of the term “biological diversity.” Main explained there is short term and long term biological diversity. Woodley thought nearly all the commission decisions were driven by water quality protection, fire mitigation and managing forest resources.
Commission discussed reworking Goal 3 by defining biological diversity, to leave it alone or to incorporate it into Goal 4. Navickas was exasperated at the thought of deleting the goal. Commission asked him to refrain from negative outbursts. Commission reworked the goal as attached, changed Goal 4 to a strategy and added two additional goals.
Commission directed Slocum to make the changes and distribute to commissioners for final rework and eventual forwarding to council for approval.
B. Continued Discussion of Stand Density Reduction on City Owned Forest Lands – Roberston wanted to discuss “process” in order to provide immediate direction to staff. He wanted city staff to talk to the Forest Service regarding the timing of their stand density reduction project. Robertson also asked that Jeff McFarland report to the commission on the status of the Park Department’s collaboration with the Forest Service. He also wanted to discuss timing of public meetings and a presentation to council at one of their study sessions. Woodly felt the council would want to know the purpose of the stand density reduction project, how much timber would be removed and the cost associated with the project. Betlejewski thought a draft proposal to be presented to the commission would be appropriate. Eggers agreed and thought it should include an outline of the next steps. Robertson thought the draft could be straightforward.
There was a commission consensus to direct Main to collect the needed data and begin the process. A subcommittee (Robertson, Brock, Betlejewski, Woodley and Main) was formed to draft a one-page proposal to take to a City Council study session.
IV. REPORTS – Slocum distributed a Trail Users Committee update from Jeff McFarland
V. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Navickas submitted a written letter to the commission for the record stating: “To whom it may concern: I am a member of the public and should be given the right to speak freely as long as I am not slanderous or make personal threats. I feel the commission’s reaction to my honest comments was extremely inappropriate. I am sorry the commission does not firmly support goal 1. Sincerely, Eric Navickas. My statement was that ‘I am offended that the commission is discussing removing goal three, ‘Promote biological diversity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.’” Commission did not agree with Navickas’ recollection of his statement, but was sorry he had left the meeting before the issue could be discussed.
VI. ADJOURNED AT 8:10 PM