There has been some interest in having the ABC resume meetings via video conference such as by Zoom. Because it appears that covid-19 will be with us for a while, perhaps a very long while, it’s something we should consider. Video meetings are not as good as in-person meetings, but it is either video meetings or no meetings. Please let me know your preference by sending a note to dGriffith.firstname.lastname@example.org this week. It can be as simple as “Video Yes” or “Video No”, or a detailed explanation as to the rationale behind your preference. It is too late to organize a September meeting, but we should be able to have an October meeting if enough of us are in favor.
There is some good news with respect to forest and watershed health in California. Region 5 of the Forest Service and the state of California have signed a Shared Stewardship Agreement Memorandum of Understanding on a common understanding on what needs to be done, to work together to improve forest and watershed health, and to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. It also includes using the excess biomass in the forest to generate energy. Governor Newsom, the leadership of Region 5, the leadership of the California Natural Resources Agency and CALFIRE all deserve credit for putting this together and for their commitment to making it work. The Acting Regional Forester of Region 4 has also signed the document and it is hoped that Region 4 and the Humboldt-Toiyabe will also commit to making it work. Over the last few years there has been consistent lobbying for Region 4 and the Humboldt-Toiyabe to be included in California’s programs and investment to improve forest health and it looks like that might have paid off. If so, special thanks are due to Regional Forester Randy Moore, Deputy Regional Forester Barnie Gyant, California Secretary of Natural Resources Agency Wade Crowfoot, and CALFIRE Chief Thom Porter, as well as numerous other agency contacts over the years.
The recently passed Great American Outdoors Act allocates 15% ($285 million/year for five years) of its funding to the Forest Service to improve infrastructure on public lands. If your organization has some projects on public land that have been neglected due to lack of resources for maintenance, or there are new ideas for expanded infrastructure, bring them to the ABC and also contact the Carson Ranger District at (775) 882-2766 to make your case.
If there is an October meeting it will be Tuesday October 6th at 6:00 pm via video conference. Stay safe, and let me know if you want video meetings.