Our meeting on December 4th, 2018 at Turtle Rock Park was attended by 17 members of the public and agencies. Considering the weather the attendance was excellent.
Kevin Vella of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) gave a presentation on how the NWTF works with land managers to improve habitat for wild turkeys. Although their goal is to improve the habitat for the turkeys, in the process they improve forest health and the habitat for other species. Since being formed in 1973, efforts by the NWTF have resulted in the population of wild turkeys increasing from about 1.3 million birds to an estimated 6 million birds today. They have invested more than $450 million in conservation to conserve or enhance over 20 million acres. The NWTF has a Master Stewardship Agreement at the national level with the US Forest Service, and manages projects for the Forest Service across the country including California. The NWTF brings human and financial resources to projects that the Forest Service does not have the resources to carry out.
Less Talk, More Action. Annie Dean led a discussion on the organization of the January planning meeting. This meeting is likely to be the first of several to prepare a map database of fuels reduction and watershed improvement projects that have been completed in the past, are currently being implemented, and are planned for the future. The agreed criteria for prioritizing projects and the information the ABC hopes to gather on each project are shown on the flip charts at the end of the minutes which can be found here. Agencies and organizations that have agreed to attend or that are being asked to attend include the USFS-Carson Ranger District, BLM-Carson City District, CALFIRE, Alpine Watershed Group, Grover Hot Springs State Park, California Department of Fish and Game, Friends of Hope Valley, Eastern Alpine Fire and Rescue, Alpine Fire Safe Council, and others. Special thanks to Coreen Francis of the BLM for offering to use the BLM GIS to map all the projects.
Participant Updates: Annie Dean and Michael Barton reported they will address the Board of Supervisors on December 18th during the public comment period to inform the Board about ABC’s planning meeting in January. Irene Davidson reported she is retiring in March 2019. For continuity, Irene Davidson has asked Teresa McClung, Deputy Forest Supervisor, Humboldt-Toiyabe, to attend the ABC’s meetings until the new District Ranger is hired. Mo Loden reported the AWG has advertised ABC’s planning meeting in January to encourage their members to attend. AnnaBelle Monti reported that out of 9,000 Christmas tree permits, there are only a few remaining. Ron Hames reported the Community Wildfire Protection Plan has been completed. Ron Hames encouraged everyone to review the 10 year plan. It needs to be accurate as a reference for funding and as protection for the community. Public comments need to be directed to Board members by December 10th, when the comments will be submitted to the Alpine Fire Safe Council. Ron Hames suggested the ABC, in conjunction with the County’s future road improvement project, take a role in recommending how to deal with the biomass which will be generated by future tree thinning along Pleasant Valley Road and Hot Springs Road. Mary Rawson reported the7th Annual Markleeville Christmas Faire on December 1st, was a success. The event was relocated to Turtle Rock Park due to weather. 150 people attended and a variety of food vendors and crafters made the event memorable. Kevin Vella, National Wildlife Turkey Federation, thanked the ABC and expressed an interest in collaboration. David Griffith reported the County has agreed to submit an ~$200,000 grant proposal to CALFire for a Fire Protection Grant. The Fire Protection plan will pick up where the Community Wildfire Protection Plan leaves off to provide more specific recommendations. David Griffith reported he and Michael Barton have joined a Forest Management Task Force to address how to reduce the risk and cost of fire. This statewide group will meet over the course of a year and provide recommendations to the Governor.
The next meeting is set for Tuesday January 8th at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park. As described above it will be a planning meeting. February will feature a science presentation on the Leviathan Mine Superfund Site by Atlantic Richfield and the Environmental Protection Agency.
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