February Meeting Summary

Our meeting on February 5th, 2019 at Turtle Rock Park was attended by 10 members of the public.  The weather was fine, the roads were good on the east slope, but sometimes “the harder you try the behinder you get.”

The planned presentation by Kevin Zeman of the Mule Deer Foundation had to be postponed at the last minute.  The passes were closed so he could not attend in person.  The substitute plan of him making his presentation over the internet did not work as the power was out in parts of Arnold where he is based, and his internet connection was down.  Master Stewardship Agreements is something we need to understand, and his experience with negotiating and managing them would be helpful.  It is hoped that he can be rescheduled sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Participant Updates:  Due to the lack of a presentation Participant Updates were considerably more verbose than usual.  David Griffith reported that he has resigned from the Fire Safe Council, and that the County approved the Community Wildfire Protection Plan in December and the Regional Floodplain Protection Plan in January.  He also reported that California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, is wholeheartedly invested in forest and watershed health and that this bodes well for future funding.  Annie Dean invited Mo Loden to co-facilitate the planning meeting in April;  Michael Barton will be away in April but is available in May to facilitate.  Mo Loden needs more information before committing but is interested;  Annie Dean will contact Mo Loden with specifics before the next ABC meeting.  Don Hittenmiller reported that he plans to build a solar collector on his property using small diameter trees, but that he will not apply for a Wood Innovations Grant this year to finance the project.  The building will serve as a prototype for pre-fabricated construction using harvested material from forest thinning.  Michael Barton reported that as ABC’s representative on the Forest Management Task Force – Sierra and Eastside Region, he has contributed to a recent survey designed to identify obstacles and how to overcome them to promote forest and watershed health.  Ron Hames reported that the problems in Paradise have increased his concern about the extent to which Alpine County is prepared for the aftermath of a devastating fire.  He encouraged community participation with the development of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan which will be reviewed in sections every six months.  The first section includes county wide evacuation plans.  Jonathan Zittel has been active with the process and is available for questions.  Ron Hames suggested the ABC could help the community by offering ideas on what to do with the 1,000 trees designated for removal along Hot Springs Road.  He also reported Jim Branham has retired from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and that his successor, Angela Avery, will advocate for Alpine County. Mo Loden requested a letter of support from the ABC for a grant that the Alpine Watershed Group (AWG) is submitting in partnership with the Amador Resource Conservation District and the Calaveras Resource Conservation District.  The funds will be used to hire a Conservation Watershed Coordinator. The ABC will submit a letter of support;  Kimra McAfee will send David Griffith details about the grant and the position.  Mo Loden reported that the AWG is recruiting volunteers for its water monitoring project.  Andrew Allen-Fahlander will contact the CHIPS crew regarding sagebrush removal on his property;  David Griffith will send Andrew Irvin Jim’s contact information.

Assuming there is not another federal shutdown the next meeting is set for Tuesday March 5th at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park.  It will feature a science presentation on the Leviathan Mine Superfund Site by Atlantic Richfield and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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