April 2023 Meeting Summary

The April meeting was attended by 14 members of the public and agencies.  Since no actions were taken there will be no notes for this meeting, only this summary.

Dr. Alexandra (Ali) Urza of the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station gave a presentation on research on the effectiveness of fuel treatments at the landscape scale.  Roughly 30% of a landscape needs to be treated to reduce the risk of a landscape destroying fire.  With respect to protecting communities, the location and maintenance of fuel breaks are critical to their effectiveness, but without the presence of suppression resources such as on-the-ground firefighters their effectiveness is limited.  When suppression resources are not present only 1% of fuel breaks can stop a fire on their own.  She included the Tamarack Fire in her presentation and provoked an fruitful discussion on how and why Markleevillage escaped destruction.

The video of her presentation and subsequent discussion will be available here for the next month.  The papers it is based on are available here and here.

Participant updates:

  • Brian Newman (CalFire) reported that as the snow melts they will be engaging in defensible space efforts.
  • Clint Celio (Alpine County) reported that The Wildfire Risk Mitigation page on the County’s website continues to be updated. The Burn Permit Guidelines have been updated.  Celio gave an update on the restoration progress on private lands on the Tamarack Fire burn scar.  So far about 25 property owners have applied.  He also commended the AWG for helping set up the Forest Health Community Work Group (see below).  He later reported that there now were three Firewise Communities in Alpine County.  Questions can be sent to wildfire@alpinecountyca.gov.
  • Don Hittenmiller (ABC) encouraged the BLM to consider more fuels reduction on their land North and West of Turtle Rock Park.
  • Rachel Keiffer (AWG) reported that the AWG will have a meeting on Tuesday May 9th here at Turtle Rock Park with a presentation on range management by Brian Morgan, and they are advertising for a Forest Health Coordinator.
  • ?? (BLM) reported that like the Forest Service the BLM is receiving additional funding.
  • Matt Crosswait (BLM) reported that the BLM will be doing hazard tree removal around the Indian Creek Campground and the Curtz Lake and Summit Lake trails. They will be doing some sagebrush replanting on the Tamarack burn scar.  There is no date yet for opening the campground.  Interpretive signs will need to be updated and replaced.
  • Rich Harvey requested a presentation from the Insurance Commissioner’s office to address homeowners’ insurance in the WUI. He described some of the home hardening measures that are being required.  Griffith agreed to get someone from the Insurance Commissioner’s office.
  • Griffith reported that he and Celio attended the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force (WFRTF) meeting in Sacramento. It was most encouraging to see Region 5 of the Forest Service and the State agencies working closely together to improve forest health and resilience, and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire.  The WFRTF is making good progress on their 99-point Action Plan.

Forest Health Community Work Group:  The County has formed the Forest Health Community Work Group with a mission “to create fire-safe communities and restore our forests and watersheds to a healthy and resilient state. We engage community members and local groups to provide educational opportunities and civil discourse so that we can make progress on living amidst a more resilient forest.”  Currently the Work Group includes representatives from the County, Forest Service, CalFire, Alpine Watershed Group, Alpine Fire Safe Council, and Alpine Biomass Collaborative.

Planned meetings and activities over the next few months include:

  • April 20th, 6:30pm, Turtle Rock Park – The Future of Forests and Our Lives Connected to Them by Dr. Lauren Oakes
  • April 28th, 12 noon, Turtle Rock Park – Arbor Day TRP Visioning with restoration discussion and tree planting
  • May 23rd, 5:30pm, Turtle Rock Park – Community Wildfire Protection Plan Public Meeting
  • June 27th, 5:30pm, Turtle Rock Park – Restoration Projects in the Tamarack Fire
  • July date TBD – Field Trip on Fire History and Forest Health in Eastern Alpine County
  • August date TBD – Field Trip on Specific Projects in Eastern Alpine County

Future Meetings:  During the next few months the ABC will be not be having regular meetings as the County will be sponsoring a series of meetings and tours related to forest and wildfire issues as noted above.  Suggestions for future topics that are consistent with our mission statement are welcome.  Please send suggestions for future speakers to dGriffith.9@gmail.com.

One thought on “April 2023 Meeting Summary

  1. I would like to get intouch with Matt Crosswait (BLM).
    I maintain the majority of all the trails at Indian Creek Recreation lands. Alpine Trails Association maintains only Interpative loop at Curtz lake and Carson River trail. I do all the rest since 2016. I’ve great interest in this as I begin trail repairs soon. I’d really appreciate it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s