January 2006

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General Meeting

January 19, 2006

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 Wyatt-Little.

Acting Chairperson, Debbie Santiago, convened the meeting at 8:45 A.M.  Introductions were made.

Minutes:  Minutes were approved:  Ed Royce – 1st.  Sharon Rooney – 2nd.  Unanimous approval.

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 – 2nd.  Unanimous approval.  Sharon noted that the Tehachapi FSC has submitted their 501c3 and may soon be “on their own”, no longer needing our fiscal agent services.

BLM: 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 equipment.

Ruth Ellison reports that all but ten of the total 56 piles of cut fuels have been burned on Old State Road.  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 Meadows.

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 presence.


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 burned.

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 is ready.

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 content.


Kennedy Meadows:  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 continued.

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 meeting.


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 may proceed.

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.  Unanimous agreement.

Respectfully submitted:  Robin Wyatt-Little, Secretary

Kern River Valley Fire Safe Council ● PO Box 633, Kernville, CA 93238

General information: Lloyd Smith ● (760) 377-3542 or Robin Little ● (760) 376-6842

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