Our meeting on November 7th, 2017 at Turtle Rock Park was attended by 18 members of the public and agencies. The Alpine Biomass Committee (ABC) is continuing to operate on funds provided by two anonymous donors. Discussion about the advisability of changing to a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation are continuing.
Our application for $20,000 in matching funds for a potential Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant is pending with the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF). Hopefully there will be a favorable decision by the end of the month.
Shelly Blair, the California Fish and Wildlife Land Manager for Alpine County gave a presentation on human-wildlife interaction. Her presentation focused on predators, how to identify them, their behavior, and what to do if confronted with one. The department no longer moves problem bears from one area to another, but it does release “re-habituated” orphaned bear cubs within a 75 mile radius of where they were originally found. In our case the orphaned bear cubs are usually found in the Tahoe Basin. Studies have shown that bears transplanted as much as 500 miles from where they are captured can find their way back.
Participant updates included the following. The Carson Ranger District reported that the Markleeville Fuels Reduction project has been completed and they will try and organize a tour. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) reported that more funding is probably coming to the Sierra Nevada from California in the form of two initiatives (one definite, the other still has to gather signatures). The funding can be used on public and private lands. They also reported that the SNC is going through a strategic planning project and the public is encouraged to participate. They reported that Chris French, Assistant Deputy Chief Forester for the USFS emphasized in a meeting that it is a priority at the national level to work collaboratively with other agencies, local governments and groups like the ABC. Danna Stroud announced that she will be leaving the SNC at the end of the month. We all agreed that we are sad to see her go. Griffith updated the meeting on funds for forest restoration that are anticipated to be coming available. CalFire and the California Air Resources Board have reportedly agreed on how to calculate the reduction in greenhouse gases from forest health and fuels reduction projects. This means that CalFire will have a lot more funding for such projects, but some of the attached conditions may not be acceptable to private land owners. The SWET conference on biomass utilization will be in Fresno on Nov. 14th through 16th. The Economic Development Committee will be discussing recreation tourism as an economic development tool at its Nov. 14th meeting. The Carson Water Subconservancy District is requesting nominations for its Andy Alfax award and suggestions were requested. Suggestions have also been requested from the Alpine Watershed Group. The BLM reported that the Department of the Interior is working on accelerating the NEPA process.
The next meeting is set for Tuesday December 5th at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park. Dr. Tamzen Stringham of the University of Nevada, Reno will be making a presentation on the management and restoration of Pinyon-Jupiter. There will be no January meeting. Future speakers include Dr. Malcolm North of the USFS in February, Scott Conway of the USFS in March, and for April and May we have tentative commitments from Dr. Hugh Stafford and Merv George, both of the USFS.
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