Less Talk More Action (3)

The May meeting will be another “less talk, more action” meeting.  This will continue the process of determining where and what forest and watershed health projects to support.  The April meeting prioritized the Poor Boy Ridge fuels reduction project which would fill in the gap between the fuels reduction done by the BLM during the Washington Fire with the Markleevillage Fuels Reduction project completed by the Forest Service, Alpine Watershed Group, Alpine County and the Alpine Fire Safe Council.  This project should reduce the risk to Markleeville, Markleevillage, and points in between.  An excellent meeting was held in the field to consider this project, with representatives of the Forest Service, BLM, Alpine County, Alpine Fire Safe Council, and CALFIRE attending.  The meeting highlighted the difference between priority and opportunity, and between short and long term planning.  It also became evident that homeowners that don’t comply with Defensible Space requirements are at a high risk regardless of the number and extent of fuel breaks.  More details at our meeting on Tuesday evening.

For those that are not already aware of it, Alpine County was awarded a $224,000 Fire Prevention Planning Grant from CALFIRE to review possible fuel breaks around our communities.  The review will do the necessary due diligence and environmental review on the two or three top priorities so that they will be “shovel ready” projects.  Congratulations and thanks are due to Brian Peters, Community Development Director, for the successful grant application.  This program and what the ABC and the Alpine Fire Safe Council are already doing should be complementary so that the community as a whole benefits, regardless of which organization is working on a particular project.  If not it will be necessary to rethink how we can better collaborate as a community.

The scoping study to determine how best to make use of the excess biomass in our forest and improve our local economy is moving ahead, but a bit slower than anticipated.  The request for proposals for a consultant is essentially finished and should go out before the ABC meeting.

The Sierra Institute is sponsoring its annual Sierra to California All-Lands Enhancement (SCALE) gathering of forest collaboratives from across California in Jackson on May 30th & 31st.  More information and registration is available here.  It is possible to attend both or either days.  Agenda highlights will include:

  • Updates on biomass utilization projects around the state
  • Status of state policy and support for biomass utilization
  • New opportunities – business models and technologies
  • Reflections on growth in community capacity
  • Preview of work and opportunities associated with upcoming capacity building work

It is a great opportunity to meet and hear from other forest collaboratives, and is also attended by agency representatives.  For more information contact Kyle Rodgers at krodgers@sierrainstitute.us.

Our May meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 7th at 6:00 pm at Turtle Rock Park.

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