KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
Those present: Ed Royce, Cindy Thill, Jim Davis, Sharon
Rooney, Margaret Belz, John Hayes, Ruth Ellison, Sally Peterson, Debbie
Santiago, Angela Yearwood, Jim Bauer, Scott Williams, Margie Clack, Robert
Robinson, Ken Stevens, Robin
Acting Chairperson, Debbie Santiago, convened the
meeting at 8:45
A.M. Introductions were made.
Minutes were approved: Ed
Royce – 1st. Sharon
Rooney – 2nd. Unanimous
Treasurer’s Report: Sharon Rooney reports an operating
account balance of $1,225.60. The
increase reflects a refund from the IRS.
Kennedy Meadows CWPP grant balance is $11,500.00; Tehachapi FSC CWPP
grant balance is $14,400.00. Sharon submitted 2005
financial report. Motion to accept
the treasurer’s report: Ed Royce –
1st. Jim Davis –
Sharon noted that the
Tehachapi FSC has submitted their 501c3 and may soon be “on their own”, no
longer needing our fiscal agent services.
Debbie presented a progress report on the fuel reduction project for Pala
Ranches area. She suggested that a
Pala Ranches Property Owners Association representative should be sought for FSC
membership and participation.
Debbie reports that there are major budget cuts for the
BLM which will have a direct impact on wildfire mitigation projects as well as
fire fighting capabilities, both in personnel available as well as firefighting
Ruth Ellison reports that all but ten of the total 56
piles of cut fuels have been burned on
The remainder will be burned as weather permits. Ruth and Debbie mentioned that budget
cuts will necessitate closing outlying BLM fire stations such as Kennedy
The Forest Service will be receiving its budget soon and
is expecting budget cuts akin to the BLM.
General discussion followed as to role of FSC in efforts
to lobby federal representatives about these budget cuts which directly affect
wildfire mitigation efforts.
Unanimous agreement that Representative Bill Thomas and Senators
Feinstein and Boxer should be contacted.
The strong interagency partnership with the KRV FSC will be severely
hampered in terms of fuel reduction projects if funding is not available. Also
agreed that the Kern County Board of Supervisors should be apprised of the
impacts these cuts will create in terms of Kern County taxpayer’s safety. It was also agreed that the FSC should
take a lead role in informing the Kern
River Valley of this
issue via newspaper articles and public presentations. Robin and Margie will work on this.
It was pointed out that this is an opportunity to
strengthen the private property sector involvement in the FSC and its mission.
Margie Clack invited a volunteer from the FSC to travel
to Sacramento on
February 15, 2006 to
participate in the Forest Service sponsored Partnership Fair. This individual will be able to travel
with the Forest Service representatives and will be funded for their food for
the day at a rate of $19.00. This
person may drive their own vehicle with a reimbursement of .49 per mile. Margie needs to know ASAP if someone is
willing to participate.
Jim Bauer reports that the Forest Service has secured a
booth for both the House and Garden Show (February 17, 18 & 19) and the
Sportsman Show (February 23, 25 & 26.)
Jim felt that the House & Garden Show might be a
perfect opportunity for the FSC to distribute defensible space information and
other related wildfire education materials.
We will need to RSVP with Jim or Angie regarding a FSC
Ken Stevens, reporting for Rich Olson and Matt Pontes,
reports that all the pile burning for the
Myers Canyon grant project has been
completed. Ken shared excellent
photos of the area post-project.
Alta Sierra has just a few small areas yet to be
Fuel reduction grant proposals will be submitted
for 1) Rodgers
Road fuel reduction extension project. 2)
Bodfish Canyon (several phases) and 3)
Erskine Creek/Spring Gulch/Lynch Canyon area project. All are fuel reduction projects. Ken shared excellent maps with
specific project data for these proposals which will help Rich and Matt when
they are submitting initial grant applications.
General discussion regarding post project maintenance by
private property owners.
Ken Stevens reports that there was good feedback on the
defensible space treatment DVD at the Kern County FSC meeting. The DVD will be edited a bit more and
then ready for final production.
There will be an effort to include groups such as ranchers when the DVD
Ken said that there will be an updating of the Wildfire
Prevention Newspaper Insert. Plans
are to include a “kid’s page” and to revamp the overall look and
A Request For Proposal (RFP) was sent to five consultants for the Kennedy
Meadows Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The deadline for the RFP is
March l, 2006.
Lake Isabella/Bodfish: Delores Walmer reports that their
association has been consistently raising the issue of correct street
signs. They are also involved in
the recent proposed water rate increase.
Isabella Highlands/Sawmill: Jim Davis reports their progress
regarding street signs and their need to reassign street names. Jim has talked with the county and has
received a terrific map from the KCFD which shows an aerial view of the area’s
streets/roads. To be
Debbie urged everyone to put forth their best effort to
recruit new members for the FSC. Ed
Royce suggested that regarding elections in February, it might be a good time to
restructure areas of responsibility i.e. Chairs for various duties within the
council. This would help to spread
the workload and not create burn out for individuals. Margie suggested that a FSC
informational article be written, asking for community participation/volunteers
on the FSC. Margie and Robin will
work on that. Robin suggested that
everyone try to bring one more person from their area to the next FSC
Scott Williams shared a map which showed past, current
and proposed fuel reduction projects.
This map will be of great value with grant proposal applications and also
for maintenance scheduling. In
essence, everyone will be able to see what others have done and proposing to
do. A great example of our
interagency cooperation. Kudos to
Scott and others for this effort!
Cindy Thill gave an overview of the road sign
project. She and Angie Yearwood
will develop a proposal with a list of questions that need addressing at the
next meeting i.e. locations, target group(s), sign specifications and future
maintenance. It was agreed this
should be a priority agenda item for February’s FSC meeting so Cindy and Angie
Ken Stevens presented the Defensible Space Treatment
DVD. Discussion followed and
accolades given for this effort.
This will be a great educational tool for the FSC presentations.
Motion to adjourn at 11:10 A.M.:
Ed Royce – 1st.
Jim Davis – 2nd.
Respectfully submitted: Robin Wyatt-Little,