Our meeting on December 5th, 2017 at Turtle Rock Park was attended by 13 members of the public and agencies. 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 still pending with the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF). Hopefully there will be a favorable decision soon.
Devon Snyder, Rangeland Ecologist with the University of Nevada, Reno gave a presentation her research on Pinyon and Juniper Ecology and Rangeland Restoration in Central Nevada. One of the puzzling aspects is why the range and population of pinyon-juniper has apparently expanded so dramatically over the last century or two. Since 1860, the area occupied by piñon and or juniper has increased 125 to 625 percent. The increase of trees was a result of infill into shrub-steppe communities with relatively open low density stands of trees and expansion of piñon and juniper into sagebrush-steppe communities that previously did not support trees. Although her research was in central Nevada, much of it applies to eastern Alpine County.
Participant updates included the following. The Alpine Watershed Group reported that their next meeting is January 9th; Julia will be starting their fuels education program at Diamond Valley School and working on the Woodfords Community after-school program. The Carson Ranger District reported that Forest Service Christmas tree permits are still available; that their pinyon-juniper program on Monitor Pass has been delayed until next fall. The BLM reported that they had no activity in Alpine County this year as they have completed all the planned fuels reduction projects, however they plan to develop another work plan to resume work in Alpine County in the future. Saving The West reported that finally merchantable timber is being harvested from the Sagehen Project and people will be able to see how applying GR220 forest management practices in a mixed-conifer forest on the east slope works. Ron Hames reported that he is continuing to work with residents in the Upper Manzanita Lane area to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. California Fish and Wildlife responded to many questions on their coming Lands Pass program. Griffith reported that the Alpine Fire Safe Council is getting closer to finishing the update on the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and it should be going out to the agencies for review in the New Year.
There will be no meeting in January. The next meeting is set for Tuesday February 6th at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park. Dr. Malcolm North of the US Forest Service will be making a presentation on his latest research on forest management. Future speakers include Scott Conway of the US Forest Service in March, and for April and May we have tentative commitments from Merv George and Dr. Hugh Stafford, both of the USFS.
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