April Meeting Summary

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Gavin Feiger making presentation  (photo by Mary Rawson)

Our meeting on 04-apr-2017 at Turtle Rock Park was well attended with 21 members of the public and agencies present.  Thanks are due to Gavin Feiger of the Alpine Watershed Group (AWG) for organizing the meeting.  More detailed notes of the meeting are available here.

Gavin reviewed the Markleevillage Fuels Reduction Project and led a discussion on historical fuels reduction projects by the Forest Service, BLM, Alpine County and the Alpine Fire Safe Council.  The AWG provided a series of maps showing the CALFIRE Fire Hazard Ratings, previous and existing fuels reduction projects, and land status.  Participants marked areas that they considered priorities for projects and the AWG will be making the results available later.

Danna Stroud of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) reviewed the state of Sierra Nevada’s forests and explained how their Watershed Improvement Program (WIP) was designed to improve forest and watershed health.  There are three focus areas in the WIP: investment in watershed restoration, policy and process constraints, and the need for infrastructure to utilize biomass.  She stressed the importance of a watershed scale all-lands approach and briefly discussed their Tahoe-Central Sierra, French Meadow, and Tuolumne County projects.  Revised grant guidelines for the next round of Proposition 1 grant applications will probably allow for combined meadow and forest restoration projects.

The West Carson Project Working Group has had one meeting and will be setting up regular meetings with the Forest Service to participate in planning the West Carson Project.

Sponsorships are available to two sets of workshops in Sacramento.  On May 16th and 17th the Rural Development Initiative by the Sierra Institute will be holding a workshop on community and economic development projects focused on biomass utilization followed by the Waste to Wisdom project spearheaded by researchers from Humboldt State University which is exploring ways to advance biomass utilization.  On May 23rd and 24th two workshops are being held jointly with the National Forest Foundation, US Forest Service and the Sierra Institute.  The workshop on May 23rd focuses on all-lands management while the workshop on May 24th focuses on advancing peer learning, all lands management, and capacity-building of community-based and other collaborative forest management groups in California.  Please contact us if you would like to attend any of the workshops.

It was agreed to send a letter supporting continued funding of AmeriCorps.

Participant updates included the following.  Norma Santiago reported that the Ultimate Gasification System may have an opportunity to test its unit, and that there will be a demonstration of a smaller unit in Las Vegas.  Those interested should contact her.  Irvin Jim reported that the CHIPS/Washoe crew will be starting work in the Tahoe Basin about June 1st.  It is part of a three year, $750,000 grant with a 20% match.  They will also be completing training on prescribed burning.  Brian Peters reported that the County was progressing on the vacant lot ordinance.  Aly Cheney encouraged everyone to attend AWG’s Earth Day event at Grover Hot Springs on April 22nd.

More detailed notes on the meeting are available here.

The next meeting is set for Tuesday May 2nd at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park.  The agenda is still being confirmed but we hope to have Craig Thomas of the Sierra Forest Legacy.

To contact us you can either leave a comment on this blog, or for a private comment, visit our contact us page.

The Alpine Biomass Committee is supported by a grant from the National Forest Foundation with funds coming from Region 5 of the U.S. Forest Service.  This organization is an equal opportunity provider.

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