Agendas and Minutes

Forest Lands Committee (View All)

Working Session

Thursday, April 21, 2005

April 21, 2005 - 5:00 PM
Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way

MEMBERS PRESENT: Frank Betlejewski, Richard Brock, Jo Anne Eggers, Anthony Kerwin, Bill Robertson, Diane White
Members Absent: None
Staff Present: Nancy Slocum, Keith Woodley
Non-Voting Members Present: Cate Hartzell, Marty Main
Members of the Public: Bill Hicks, Dan Maymar

Commissioner Kerwin led the discussion on 2005 one year and three year commission goals.
Suggested goals in no particular order were:
1. Reduce fuels in a manner that enhances biodiversity and long term soil productivity
2. Plan and manage recreation use in a manner that is compatible with primary watershed uses.
3. Define role of chair
4. Improve aquatic habitat in Ashland Creek below Reeder Reservoir for anadronmous and resident fish
5. Assist Forest Service get funding for local work
6. Post fire plan
7. Letter to City Council to encourage pipeline to Medford water
8. Continue to implement the goals of the Ashland Forest Plan (pages 46-48)
9. Collaboration with others in the city (and beyond)
10. After Winburn?
11. Education and Outreach
12. Plan for managing aliens [weeds]
13. Integrate interdisciplinary land analysis into the land management decision process "soils, geology, hydrology." by use of experienced professionals specialized in the three fields listed above
14. Encourage outreach and public involvement (AFRCA Stewardship)
15. Terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
16. Winburn - manage vegetation and other resources in a manner that emulates natural processes
17. Create active weed control effort on city lands - inventory, species specific killing plan and monitoring
18. Monitor Plan on city lands - biophysical (quantitative), soil surface movement map and monitoring (sediment transport), rare plant monitoring, water flow and sources in watershed, bird monitoring, sediment, report format
19. Create riparian management strategy
After priortization, the following goals were selected with some further discussed and objectios outlined:
1. Develop and implement monitoring Plan on City owned forestlands. A plan would include quantitative biophysical data, soil surface movement map and monitoring, rare plant monitoring, water flow and sources in watershed, bird monitoring, sediment monitoring and a useable report format. Objectives: track long term trends in vegetation, evaluate the response/effects of our treatment, identify gaps in the existing monitoring plan (wildlife, aquatic inverts and fish, riparian, sediment transport), integrate monitoring with Forest Service efforts, monitoring schedule for each resource, "strong volunteer" community, water sources where? How much?
2. Create active weed control effort on City lands that include an inventory, species specific killing plan and short and long term monitoring. Weeds were defined as "non-native, introduced aka noxious invasion." Objectives: review Department of Agriculture list, identify target species, map locations on the landscape and the extent of each infestation/occurrence, coordinate efforts with Parks Department, public communication plan, species specific control plan, lobby for funding (Title II), implement.
3. Create riparian management strategy
4. Complete Winburn Management Plan (Restoration Project Phase III) that would manage vegetation and other resources in a manner that emulates natural processes. Objectives: more opportunities for non-commercial work, reintroduce fire as a landscape process, riparian issues, late serial old growth issues.
5. Integrate interdisciplinary land analysis into the land management decision process: wildlife, botany, soils, geology, hydrology
6. Collaboration with others in watershed projects in the City (and beyond).
7. Update Ashland Forest Plan to be consistent with the Northwest Forest Plan.
8. Creating a Fire Management Plan as required in Commission Charter - 3 year goal.
Commissioner Betlejewski led the review and discussion on potential changes to the commission's charter (Resolution 96-21.) Discussion centered around the membership requirement for one owner of forest management lands. The commission discussed the ambiguity of the requirement as well as the small available pool of potential commissioners. Other changes included adding a caveat to the absent from meetings clause. Some active commissioners had busy work schedules during parts of the year. Lastly, to avoid confusion, the commission changed the term "Forest Management Plan" to the more correct "Ashland Forest Plan."

Commission requested a copy of the Public Works annual report on cutting trees. They asked staff to see if the Forest Service had a recreation plan.

1. Commissioners - besides duties as outlined in the charter, commissioners would like to add a new ongoing agenda item to review the latest relevant scientific articles. They suggested limiting each presentation to five minutes. Commissioners would take turns presenting a "paper of the month."
2. Commission Chair - The Chairs chief responsibility would be to "manage" the meeting, but in cooperation with the other commissioners. The Chair would represent the commission as a whole without a personal agenda. Although often the first contact from the press, the Chair should refer the press to the most appropriate person on the commission for comment. The Chair would also network with city staff. The commission asked that draft agenda's be sent to all commissioners to allow everyone the opportunity to add agenda items.
3. Staff - Slocum was concerned with her increased level of participation at the meetings. Commission appreciated her increased role.
4. Council Liaison - Hartzell noted that in contrast of past commission liaisons, she knows and is passionate about the topic. She would like to influence the direction of the commission. She sees her role as a bridge between the council and the commission, a resource person and a cheerleader. Hartzell was asked to prepare the commission in how best to approach the city council.
5. Non-voting Members - It was suggested that non-voting members present a status report to the commission approximately once per year.
The commission discussed the need for an expanded community collaboration process as the Forest Service's Ashland Forest Resiliency project continues. The commission would like the City Council's input on the commission's role in this project. It was decided to ask the City Council to create an ad-hoc committee that would include key community participants. They suggest participants from AFRCA and the CWPP groups be invited. Its task would be to 1) provide a written response to the AFR DEIS; 2) continue clarification of the community alternative with Forest Service; and 3) monitor implementation of AFR. Staff was asked to invite potential committee members to the next meeting.
The working session adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Slocum, Clerk

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