The September meeting was attended by 21 people in person and two over Zoom. A Zoom link was only provided to people that had a strong interest in Malcolm North’s presentation and that were too far away to attend in person. The informal interaction that occurs before and after the formal meeting is important, and because of that Zoom links will not be available except in special circumstances Since no actions were taken there will be no notes for this meeting, only this summary.
Dr. Malcolm North, a Research Ecologist with the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station gave a presentation on operational resilience in western US frequent-fire forests. The complete recording of his presentation will be available here for approximately one month.
We learned that in order to achieve resilient forests:
- Fuels reduction (a resistance approach) may not be sufficient for resilience to other stresses (i.e., drought, bark beetles)
- Greater intensity of initial harvest is needed in far departed stands
- Individual large tree growth should be favored over total stand growth
- Financial incentives and more wood processing facilities are necessary
photo by Mary Rawson
- McAffee (AWG) announced that volunteers are welcome at Markleeville Creek Day which is scheduled for Saturday Sept. 17th. Meet at the Library in Markleeville at 9:00 am. After work is completed there will be a free lunch. Details here.
- Newman (CalFire) reported that fire activity was picking up in the state, but so far locally not so much. Fire activity is roughly equivalent to the 20-year average.
- Lonergan (NFF) announced that there is an event with the Forest Service at REI in Reno on Sept. 16th promoting responsible recreation.
- Francis (BLM) reported that the BLM had looked for seed cones for future restoration after the Tamarack Fire, but insects had got to them first and so cones this year are not a good source for seeds. It is a statewide issue. Monti (USFS) concurred. Francis also reported that Kim Dow, formerly Sierra Front Field Manager, is now the District Manager.
- Rawson (ABC) reported that she had applied for, and the ABC has been awarded $2,825 from Alpine County Health and Human Services Public Health Dept. The funds are to cover expenses for the next year and the purchase of a high-resolution projector.
- Griffith (ABC) announced that the first meeting of the Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) would be in October. The RAC would be able to make recommendations to the Forest Service on what projects to fund with the approximately $150,000 available.
A special thanks to Alpine County Health and Human Services Public Health Dept. for the grant mentioned above by Rawson. In the future there will be some public interest messaging from the Health Dept. Those that attended the meeting in person saw how much of a difference the new projector makes.
Other Items of Interest: The Stronger California Coalition, which includes organizations such as the California State Assoc. of Counties and the California Fire Safe Council among others has a lot of good information for those that live in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and are at risk of catastrophic wildfire. To learn more, go here.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released a major update to its California Smoke Spotter mobile app to help users protect themselves from smoke during wildfire season. New features of the app include wildfire information and alerts, a 24-hour wildfire smoke forecast, and Air Quality Index (AQI) data from PurpleAir sensors to provide users with real-time smoke conditions (in addition to AQI data from permanent and temporary air monitors). Details available here.
Future Meetings: There will be no October meeting and instead people are encouraged to attend Candidates’ Night and a following educational session on how biomass facilities help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, their place in achieving California’s climate and forest health goals, and their air quality impacts. Suggestions for future topics that are consistent with our mission statement are welcome. Please send suggestions for future speakers to dGriffith.firstname.lastname@example.org.