Our meeting on September 4th, 2018 at Turtle Rock Park was attended by 21 members of the public and agencies.
Dr. Westley Kitlasten of the US Geologic Survey gave a presentation on the Water for Seasons Project and the Sierra Wide Meadow Vulnerability Assessment. Warming temperatures will mean an earlier runoff which may impact which crops can be successfully irrigated in the Carson Valley. Meadow restoration does not make a significant difference in the amount of water available for agriculture, but can moderately improve base flows which help fish and other wildlife.
There is no news yet from the EDA on our grant application. ABC’s 501(c)(3) application has been approved by the IRS, and the ABC can now provide tax receipts for donations made since February 28, 2018. The Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) agreement which is a Master Agreement between the State of California and Region 4 of the U.S. Forest Service (Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest), was signed September 4th, 2018. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy is working on a parallel GNA agreement. These GNA agreements will allow state agencies to fund or conduct operations on Forest Service lands to improve forest health. This opportunity will not last forever, and Alpine County will need to aggressively pursue grants and projects if it is to benefit. Hopefully these agreements will allow for the Forest Service to get the resources it needs to move ahead more rapidly with their West Carson Project. The ABC acknowledges John Brissenden as instrumental in getting the GNA agreement signed.
An informal working group is putting together a presentation for the Board of Supervisors to give the Board and County staff a better understanding of what the ABC is and does, and perhaps more importantly, what it isn’t and doesn’t do. It is anticipated that the presentation will be made to the Board at its October 16th meeting.
Participant updates included the following. Mo Loden reported that the 19th Annual Alpine Watershed Creek Day and social was Saturday, September 8th. Kimra McAfee reported that the next AWG meeting is Tuesday, September 11th, at 5:30 pm, at the Hung A Lel Ti Indian Education Center. The meeting is an opportunity to say goodbye to Americorps volunteers Julia Keane and Marina Vance. There will also be discussion on restarting the Markleeville Creek Restoration Project at Heritage Park. Ron Hames requested a letter from ABC to support the County in repealing the Lands Pass Access for Hope Valley. The ABC agreed to a letter of support. For future reference letters of support should be included in the agenda two weeks prior to the next meeting. Irvin Jim reported that the Tribal Council is opposing a trail system at Northstar in Martis Valley because it impacts some of the oldest tribal lands. CHIPS has achieved national recognition from the US Forest Service and the US Department of Agriculture. CHIPS is ahead of schedule on projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. The CHIPS crew completed Basic 32 Fire Training in May and will complete the required field work on November 6, 2018. Steve Wilensky displayed the new CHIPS/Washoe Crew shirts which replace vests and are cooler in hot weather. Steve Wilensky reported that the CHIPS/Washoe Crew attendance this year is 94%, up from 74% and that the crew’s capacity continues to grow. David Griffith reported that the County passed the Adjacent Lot Ordinance. Julia Keane thanked the ABC and the Alpine community for sharing its resources and expertise. Mary Rawson reported there was an unveiling of the Markleeville historic welcome signs several weeks ago. The Markleeville Christmas Fair will be held on December 1st , 10-3. Paul Foselier reported fuels reduction is planned on all BLM lands in Alpine County. The required NEPA review is scheduled in 2019 with implementation in 2020. Prescribed fire will be used as follow up.
The next meeting is set for Tuesday October 2nd at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park. Steve Frisch and Chris Mertens of the Sierra Business Council will be making a presentation on the Loyalton biomass-to-bioenergy facility in Sierra County. November will feature a presentation by CHIPS and the Washoe Crew on their accomplishments. In December Kevin Vella of the National Wild Turkey Federation will be making a presentation. The National Wild Turkey Federation does a lot of forest and habitat restoration on Forest Service lands nationally. It is not planned to have a January meeting. Tentatively February will feature a science presentation by Atlantic Richfield on the Leviathan Superfund site.
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