KERN RIVER VALLEY

FIRE SAFE COUNCIL

August 2009

Meeting Minutes

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KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL

Board of Directors and Stakeholders Meetings

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Board of Directors Meeting


Those attending: Ed Royce, Barbara Likens, Christine and Gordon Hancock, Tom Parkin, Patrick Pontes and Robin Wyatt-Little.

MINUTES:
Motion to approve the July minutes - Christine Hancock. Second - Tom Parkin. Unanimous approval.

TREASURERíS REPORT:
Christine reports an operating account balance of $3,868.43. Grant balances are: Pala Ranches - $98,300.00; Phase 2 Bodfish Canyon Escape Route - $98,100.00. These two grant balances reflect final payments for both. The Piute Meadow Ranches Grant which is still an active project shows a zero balance until that final payment is received which should be soon. Christine reports that the Kernville Chamber of Commerce membership invoice has been received and will be paid ($50.00.) The FSC audit should be completed in September with an estimated cost of $350.00. The FSC annual insurance premium will be due at the end of September for approximately $1400.00. Our insurers, Alliant Insurance Group is offering "volunteer" insurance. Christine will check with Sharon Rooney on this and also get a quote before the September meeting. Robin moved for approval of the Treasurer's Report. Second by Ed Royce. Unanimous approval.

Committee Reports: 
Grants: Patrick attended the recent CAFSC Workshop that dealt with updated guidelines for all California Fire Safe Councils. The most pressing for our FSC were: 

1) Requirement for every grant application will be inclusion of our insurance certificate(s). 

2) We are required to submit a "Conflict of Interest" policy as soon as possible. (Patrick will obtain a copy of Tehachapi FSC policy for us.) 

3. CAFSC is requiring all FSC news releases/articles to be submitted to them prior to local publication. There was general discussion reflecting concern that this is a time-consuming policy and defeats timely articles in local newspapers. This seems to be a boondoggle approach for the CAFSC administrative force. Patrick will talk with CAFSC, relay our concerns and inquire as to the feasibility of guidelines to follow for FSC publication of articles etc. 

Fundraising: Lloyds' written report states $794.18 received in donations. Thank you cards sent. Sustaining membership donations received thus far for 2009: $2,194.18. Chipper: No Board action taken. Speakers Bureau: No Board action taken. Publicity: No Board action taken. Website: No Board action taken. Education: No Board action taken.

Old Business: 
1. Donation for Camp Erwin Owen: Motion by Robin to donate $250.00 to help supply helmets, eye protection gear and long sleeved shirts for wards when they are working on FSC chipper projects. Second by Christine. Unanimous approval. Robin will check with Camp Owen administration or a charitable organization to determine process for specified use of donation and to make certain equipment mentioned is correct. 2. Barbara Likens responded to Lloyds' request for new FSC participants and introduced John Henry Strathmann. She also has a commitment from Jenny Hanley who will attend the September meeting. David Derr, newly retired KCFD, will consider participating once a retirement schedule has settled in. THANK YOU BARBARA!

Action Items:
Determine Greenhorn Mountain POA newsletter date - Robin Obtain copy Conflict of Interest Policy from Tehachapi - Patrick Talk with CAFSC re articles/news releases - Patrick Get insurance quote for volunteer insurance - Christine Talk with CEO administration or a charitable organization re FSC donation specifics - Robin

Meeting adjourned at 9:30 AM


KERN RIVER VALLEY FIRE SAFE COUNCIL
Stakeholders Meeting
Thursday, August 20th, 2009


MINUTES

Additional attendees: Scott Williams, Bob Robinson, Bill Wilson, Mike Heffner, Derrick Davis and Gordon Ehmann.

Vice President Ed Royce convened the meeting at 9:45 AM. 

Introductions were made: Bob Robinson introduced Bill Wilson who will be chairing the Yard and Garden Grant project for MDRCD. John Henry was introduced to the new arrivals. 

President's Comments: Two meetings of the Collaborative group had been set: The original time set for the annual Collaborative meeting was set to follow the October FSC general meetings. A meeting to prioritize projects in the current CWPP had been set to follow the September meeting. Following discussion of the agency representatives present, it was determined this prioritization meeting could take place after be combined with the October meetings which would be more amenable for their respective schedules. * (* In checking with the conference room reservation book, it may be necessary to have the Collaborative meeting at another location. The conference room is booked following our regular meetings.) 

Calendar Updates: Piute Meadow Ranches POA FSC program - Saturday, Aug. 22nd, 1PM. Robin et al KRV Health Faire FSC Table - Sept. 28th - Sr. Center - Gordon & Christine KC Fair - Robin will check with Brandon Smith re details for FSC table. 

Attendance List Updates: Per Tom Parkin, please use his cell phone number: 661-331-7502 Re Mike Ryan (USFS): Telephone number is 379-5646 Re Rick Larson (USFS): Telephone is 376-3781 

Current Grants: PIUTE MEADOW RANCHES COMMUNITY ROADSIDE BRUSHING AND CHIPPING PROJECT: The project is about 90% completed and the remainder is minor widening of several sections of the roadway. We need to schedule one Chipper Day event for this project. We are still waiting for the final payment on the Piute Meadow Ranches Project. 

PALA SHADED FUELBREAK: The project has started and by last week the crew had completed a little over 2 acres. We have received the full funding for this project. The Quarterly Reporting period ended July 31st, final report due August 31st. 

BODFISH CANYON PHASE 2 FUELBREAK PROJECT: Kern Fire has completed about 50% of the project (approximately 16 acres), and the bottom-half of the project is now complete. The crew is working on the upper portion. We have received the full funding for this project. The Quarterly Reporting period ended July 31st, and the final report is due by august 31st.

2010 Grant Projects: Bodfish 111 Fuel Reduction Project & Burma Interagency Extension: All the required information for these projects has been submitted to the State; we are in a holding pattern until this fall. At the Workshop, we were told the Sub-Award Letters will be sent about September 1st for signatures.

CFSC Mandatory Workshop: The 2010 Workshop was held August 7th at Camp 2 in La Canada. The reason for the meeting is that some FSC's have had to return their funds to the State resulting in appeals to the CFSC. Some of the key points emphasized at the meeting were: " Must meet deadlines or payments will be delayed. Can lose funding. " Must complete Progress Reports to get funding - data must be correct. " All FSC News Releases must be cleared through the CFSC. " Be patient & cooperative when requesting funds. Forest Service allocates their funding 30 days at a time. " CFSC does Quarterly Reports to Fed's so they need to see results & MATCHES. " Any interest over $250.00 in FSC's interest-bearing accounts must be returned to CFSC. " Our grants are from the national Fire Plan - CFSC, not the FS, BLM, NPS etc. " Funding to FSC's will come via Automated Clearing House Transfers (info re details forthcoming.) " Grant Extensions will only be considered at the end of projects with a maximum extension of 90 days. " Sub-Award Letters to FSC's are legally binding. " Cathy will send CEQA doc's to BLM to move the process faster. " Ground and Vegetation Disturbance is now defined in workbook. (most is disturbance.) " Payments to FSC's will have a form to request the funding by the quarter. " If your FSC is awarded $500K in a fiscal year, you must have an A-133 Special Audit. " Grant closeouts will now have a 2-page final survey which goes to Margaret. " Project Administration Change is a BIG DEAL. Cathy must know so she can train new person. " FSC's need a Conflict of Interest Policy. (Problems with Board Members bidding on grant projects.) " Submitted by Patrick G. Pontes, KRV FSC Grants Administrator

There was discussion regarding Cal Fire grants and their requirements for matches. This will be discussed at the upcoming Collaborative meeting.

Fundraising: Total 2009 fundraising thus far is $2,194.18.

Chipper Days: The July 23rd Caldwell Creek (Kernville) chipper project began at 8:30 AM, ending at 11:30 AM. Chipped material (12k cu. ft.) was broadcast back onto the property. No date as yet for Valley View. Tom is looking into a date for the Click property near Pala Ranches and will see if Pala Ranches wants to join in. Tom will talk with Lonnie Blank.

Publicity: Robin has submitted an article to the Fence Post regarding the Piute Meadow Ranches Grant project. It will be in the September issue. Robin also submitted an article to the Kern Valley Sun: 1) Recap of the FSC program for the Lake Isabela/Bodfish POA. Robin and Ed submitted information regarding the history of the KRV FSC to Marsha Smith for her column, citing the history and her recommendation to get involved in the FSC. (both appeared in the 8/19/09 issue.)

Website: Ed tells us that the CWPP's have been made smaller digitally on the site. Also, the CWPP appendix has been updated. Ed checked specific website links for the period of 7/l7 - 8/19 to see if they needed continued monthly updating/posting. At this point, the monthly calendar updates (49), the minutes (47) and recent news (29) show enough activity to continue until Ed has a chance to revisit the volume for these three monthly updated sites. 

Education: The U.S. Forest Service Focus Group Survey Meetings have been cancelled. Robin will check with Brandon Smith regarding a FSC table at the Kern County Fair. 

Agency Reports: Kern county Fire Department: Derrick Smith reports that current projects are going well. Budget issues are still finicky. Derrick suggested that Robin check with CEO Asst. Director, Paul Perez about the specific equipment that the FSC $250.00 donation will purchase for the CEO chipper crew. Once this is confirmed Robin will draft a letter to P.A.C.K. to accompany the check. 

Forest Service: Scott Williams gave an update of recent fires: The Lion Fire - 2500 acres and the Granite Fire - 1300 acres. Both were lightning caused. The ongoing LaBrea Fire near Ventura is now at 88,000 acres and it may be that marijuana growers are the cause. 

BLM: Debbie Santiago sent word through Mike Heffner that the Take Responsibility posters are here and ready for distribution. 

MDRC&D: Bob Robinson introduced Bill Wilson who will be chairing the Yard and Garden Project. 

Property Owners Associations: 

Squirrel Valley: All quiet. 

Lake Isabella-Bodfish: Gordon Hancock reports that this group is concerned about the proposed increase in CalWater rates. Gordon said that the LI/Bodfish average annual income is $24,000 and a rate increase will create a hardship situation. Gordon further shared that the wildfire risk potential is tied directly to people not watering their property adequately as a result of the rate increase. Gordon asked if the FSC would be amenable to sending a letter echoing these concerns to Cal Water and appropriate State personnel. It was agreed that the Council will take no position. Gordon or other Council members may cite their experience as Council members in support of their opposition, but may not speak for the Council.

Frontier Trail POA: Robin reports extensive defensible space treatment completed for three property owners on the North side. Robin will poll the residents to see if a chipper day might be possible this fall. Wofford Heights POA: Barbara Likens tells us that this group is revived again with Brian Polston at the helm. Brian is very positive about having a FSC program. Robin will schedule this. Barbara feels that a chipper day(s) will be a definite outcome . Kennedy Meadow: Ed reports "all quiet." Pala Ranches: No report.

Action Items: " Check on KC Fair details - Robin " Pala Ranches/Click Chipper event date - Tom " Send Ed copy of Fence Post article - Robin " Check website "hits" again - Ed " Schedule Wofford Heights. FSC program - Robin Motion to adjourn by Robin. Second by Gordon. Unanimous approval.

Ed adjourned meeting at 11:20 AM

 

 

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

General information: Lloyd Smith ● (760) 377-3542

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