March Meeting Summary

Our Zoom meeting on March 2nd was attended by 11 members of the public and agencies.  Dr. Stanley Kitchen of the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station gave an excellent presentation on Aspen Restoration in Utah with Applicability to the Intermountain West.  Some participants had problems logging in to the meeting and so the recorded presentation will be available for one month at https://drive.google.com/file/d/195csar5tarUCLQRB5Q7MaSpp-DbNktVS/view?usp=sharing.  Those that are interested in the Humboldt-Toiyabe’s potential West Carson Project should find it worthwhile.

Aspens are much more than just pretty trees in the fall when they turn bright yellow.  “High functioning, non-riparian aspen forests support a more diverse array of plant and animal species than any other upland forest type in the West.  Aspen condition varies due to variability in natural processes including fire, succession, extreme climate and biotic agents – and due to human influences.  Overall aspen condition has been degraded in Utah and throughout the Intermountain West during the 20th century and is in need of restorative intervention.  Restoration activities should have a landscape-scale goal of creating a balance of successional stages that collectively foster broad-scale sustainability and resilience, providing options for future generations.” (Kitchen, S., 2021)  Dr. Kitchen stressed the importance of landscape scale restoration, meaning thousands and even tens of thousands of acres.

Participant Updates:  David Griffith reported the deadline for CAL FIRE Forest Health grants is May 19th.  There is finally some progress for future collaboration between Region 5 and the Humboldt-Toiyabe, Region 4.  Randy Moore, Regional Forester for Region 5 and Mary Farnsworth, Action Regional Forester for Region 4 had a good meeting.  Region 4 understands and is interested in the support and resources Region 5 has to offer.  The California Forest Management Task Force will invite the Humboldt-Toiyabe to participate.  Mo Loden reported that the next AWG meeting is March 9th.  The focus of the meeting is how recreation is impacting watershed health.  The AWG is kicking off its season with the volunteer water quality monitoring program in Alpine County.  Mo Loden thanked David for Dr. Kitchen’s Aspen presentation.

Future Meetings:  April:  Presentation on prescribed and managed fire with Matt Zumstein, Carson District Ranger with the Humboldt-Toiyabe N.F. and  Phill Kiddoo, Executive Director with the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District on the District’s Smoke Management Plan.  May:  Presentation on the role and importance of refugia after wildfires, Dr. Meg Krawchuk of the University of Oregon.  June: Post-fire Restoration Framework for National Forests in California, Dr. Marc Meyer, et al., USFS.  Any suggestions for possible speakers are welcome.

The April meeting will be via video conference at 6:00 pm on Tuesday April 6th.

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