KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
January 20, 2005
Those present: Marcine Hughes,
Robin Wyatt-Little, Richard Olson, Sandy and Charles Stockinger, Ed Royce, Jim
Bauer, Margie Clack, John Smith, Ken Stevens, Jim Davis, Dave Bacalis, Emily
Diggles, Delores Walmer, Debbie Santiago, Sue Rocha, Angie Yearwood, Dan Dumas,
Jennifer Mata, Eric Hutchins.
Meeting convened by President Marcine Hughes at 8:30 A.M.
Minutes of November
18, 2004 were read. Motion
to accept: Emily Diggles – 1st. Delores Walmer – 2nd. Unanimous approval. Minutes on file.
Treasurers’ Report given by Robin in Sharon Rooney’s’
absence. Total balance on hand is
$95,458.21. Of this amount
approximately $1,000.00 is the FSC operating account, the balance being grant
funds for the Myers Canyon
fuel reduction project. Motion to
accept: Robin Wyatt-Little – 1st. Jim Davis – 2nd. Unanimous
approval. Report on file.
Grant Administrator Report: Rich
Olson reports that four grant applications are being submitted to the Grant
Clearinghouse for consideration:
Kennedy Meadows Community Fire
Safe Plan – 30K
Plater Road fuel reduction/chipper
project – 53K
Tillie Creek fuel reduction/fuel
break project – 103K (this project will tie in with Forest Service and
BLM fuel reduction projects providing a continuous fuel break to Old
Hungry Gulch fuel reduction/road
brushing project – 108K ( this project will tie in with the Forest
Service campground and act as a buffer to the Sawmill fuel break.
Rich reports that the “cutting” portion of
the Alta Sierra Fuel Reduction Grant is completed. Burning of the piles will be completed as
weather permits and crews are available.
Rich pointed out that this project was a superb collaboration between
the Fire Safe Council grant project and the Forest Service: 60% of the fuel
break was funded through grant funds on private property and 40% was completed
on Forest Service land.
Two portions of the Alta Sierra Community Fire Safe
Plan (Structure Protection Plan and Evacuation Plan) will be extracted from the
overall plan and given to the Kern County Fire Department and Sheriffs
Rich Olson will be participating in aerial monitoring
and photographing of the Fire Safe Councils’ fuel reduction projects. Debbie Santiago requested that sharing of
photo monitoring with the agencies would be appropriate. Rich will do this and also forward photos to
be placed on the KRV FSC website.
Rich reports that the Myers Canyon project has 90% of the
license to enter documentation completed.
Many of the original letters were returned with “incorrect
address” notations. BLM is
completing their biological inventories, noting wilderness boundaries in
relationship to the project area. Fuel
reduction work should begin as soon as fuel crews are hired in March.
Rich reports that grant period extension requests for
both Alta Sierra projects were granted which will accommodate final burning and
cleanup of project sites when snow melts.
Rich recommends that the FSC, Kern County Fire Department,
BLM and the Forest Service schedule a meeting to discuss development of an
amendment process to the Kern River Valley Community Fire Safe Plan. New wildfire mitigation projects need to be
identified, prioritized and amended into the original plan.
It was also recommended that the FSC take necessary
steps to have the KRV Community Fire Safe Plan officially recognized by CWPP
(California Wildfire Protection Plan.)
Having this formal recognition of CWPP guidelines will help to
streamline future FSC projects i.e. NEPA process etc.
Ken Stevens, on behalf of the newly formed Tehachapi
Fire Safe Council, asked if the Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council would act
as fiscal agent for their Community Fire Plan Grant Application. They are in the process of obtaining their
501c3 status. Treasurer Sharon Rooney
felt this could be easily handled from a bookkeeping perspective. Discussion
followed and it was agreed that the KRV FSC could meet this request. It was further agreed that there would be a
$500.00 fiscal agent fee for this service.
This fee would become part of the KRV FSC operating account. The motion was made by Robin
Wyatt-Little. Rich Olson – 2nd. Unanimous approval.
Jim Davis, President of the Isabella Highlands/Sawmill
Property Owners Association reports that a letter of appreciation for Kern County’s support in the
Sawmill fuels reduction project was sent to Supervisor McQuiston. He will send a copy to Rich Olson for the
final grant report. A copy will also be
sent to Deborah Santiago for BLM purposes.
Robin Wyatt-Little reports that the Frontier Trail
Homeowners Association will be submitting their letters of appreciation to
Supervisor McQuiston, the Forest Service, Kern County Fire Department and the
KRV FSC for the Rodgers Road
fuels reduction project. FTHA POA is
amenable to continuation of this fuel break if funds are available. Ken Stevens reported that out of 62 grant
funding applications submitted, only 6 were funded. Monies are less plentiful.
Dave Bacalis reports that he will be working on
correct addresses for the Alta Sierra community. Dave will see that a letter from the
Greenhorn Property Owners Association will be sent to Supervisor McQuiston for Kern County’s support of recent
grant projects at Alta Sierra.
Emily Diggles reports that there are five new property
owners in the Myers Canyon
area of Bodfish. One of the properties
is fifteen acres and the owner is busy clearing.
Margie Clack tells us that this is the 100th
birthday of the U.S. Forest Service. The
FS will have a commensurate presence in the Whiskey Flat Parade. Margie also mentioned that the Forest Service
National Review Team will be contacting our FSC (Marcine Hughes) for an
interview regarding collaborative wildfire mitigation projects.
Eric Hutchins (FS) reports that the north end of the
Kernville fuel break continues. Eric
raised the discussion about new 100’ fire clearance requirements for
parcels/lots and the interpretation that this would mean that smaller
parcels/lots would have to be totally
cleared of all vegetation. Discussion to
be continued. People with letters
stating defensible space requirements
from their insurance company will send a copy of the letter to Marcine Hughes
for documentation purposes.
Debbie Santiago (BLM) introduced Sue Rocha who is the
FMO for the desert area. Sue asked for
input from this FSC as she begins to develop FSC’s in her area.
Debbie tells us that our FSC receives “high
marks” from BLM for our wildfire mitigation grant projects. She
also reports that HDFPA has installed its new Board (Debbie is Chair this year)
and they will have plans soon for the poster contest. Deb requested that copies of the KRV FSC
grant applications be forwarded to her to insure better interagency
coordination. Rich will follow through
with this request.
John Smith (KCFD) reports that on Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 9:00 A.M.
KCFD Chiefs Thompson and Castle will be making a presentation to the
Kern County Board of Supervisors regarding the KCFD history of progress with
fuel reduction work and the need for future stable funding levels. It was agreed that letters should be sent to
the Board of Supervisors thanking them for continued support of wildfire
mitigation projects and the fuels crews.
requested discussion about the
original intent of the demonstration lot
project and the need to change its format.
Some of the original lots have not been maintained by the property owners.
Perhaps a new direction might be to identify private parcels/lots that
have been cleared and ask permission for a defensible space sign to be placed
on the property. The sign(s) could
express appreciation for the defensible space efforts. Discussion to be continued.
John would also like to revamp the chipper day
program. Specifically he would like to
streamline the format so that the chipper is used for
larger neighborhood projects.
Dave Bacalis volunteered to work
with John on this.
Emily Diggles asked if our 2005 FSC Newsletter was
developed yet. To be done soon.
Emily said the
Wildfire Prevention newspaper inserts are needed in both KRV Chamber of
Commerce offices. They disappear
quickly. To be done soon.
Ed Royce (Kennedy Meadows POA) asked for advice as to
sending a letter to Tulare County Supervisor Jim Maples regarding the
Kennedy Meadows grant application for a Community Fire Safe Plan. It was agreed that it might be helpful to
keep Mr. Maples informed of wildfire
mitigation efforts within his district.
Nominations for January 2005 KRV FSC Officers were as follows:
President: Marcine Hughes
Vice President: Dave Bacalis
Treasurer: Sharon Rooney
Secretary: Robin Wyatt-Little
Board of Directors nominations will be made at the February 17th
Meeting was adjourned at l0:55 A.M.
Respectfully submitted by: Robin Wyatt-Little, Secretary