September 2009

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Board of Directors and Stakeholders Meetings

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Board of Directors Meeting

Those attending: Lloyd Smith, Ed Royce, Gordon and Christine Hancock, 

Barbara Likens, Bob Robinson, John-Henry Strathmann, Derrick Davis, Mike Heffner, Richard Grove, Jenny Hanley and Robin Wyatt-Little.

Lloyd called for approval of the minutes. Motion to approve – Ed Royce. Second – Christine Hancock. Unanimous approval.

Christine reports an operating account balance of $2,326.75. Grant balances are: Pala Ranch Grant project - $98,300.00; Bodfish Canyon Phase 11 - $98,100.00. (NOTE: Piute Meadows is STILL an ACTIVE grant project. Because there is currently a zero balance and we are awaiting the final payment from CAFSC, our computer program will not show the zero balance thus it is not reflected on the computer printout for the Treasurer’s report.)

Patrick has previously been assured by CAFSC that the Piute Meadows final grant payment is due in the near future. Ed Royce will check with Patrick as to the status of this payment. We are currently holding final invoices from KCFD for this project that Christine will also pay when we receive the final payment.

Call for bills, receipts and donations: Christine reports receipt of invoices from Patrick Pontes, Grants Administrator for the following:

· Piute Meadows Road Brushing Project – 4/20/09 – 8/27/09 - $1,439.00

· Pala Ranch Fuelbreak Project – 1/8/09 – 9/12/09 - $2,154.00

· Bodfish Canyon Phase 11 Project – 1/8/09 – 9/13/09 - $3,219.00

Motion to approve immediate payment for the Pala Ranch and Bodfish Canyon invoices – Ed Royce. Second – Barbara Likens. Unanimous approval.

Motion by Ed Royce to approve payment for the Piute Meadows invoice when we receive the final payment from the CAFSC. Second – Lloyd Smith. Unanimous approval.

Christine reports our new checks are being printed at a cost of $17.00, which will be charged to our bank account. Motion for this payment approval by Ed Royce. Second by Robin Wyatt-Little. Unanimous approval.

Christine reports a final invoice for our five-year period audit, in the amount of $250.00. The results of this audit were good: “In my opinion there were not any findings that I felt would compromise the integrity of the financial records.” Signed: Amy Freeland, Bookkeeping and Payroll Services.

This invoice amount was approved previously by the KRV FSC Board.

Ed Royce moved to accept the audit findings. Second by Lloyd smith. Unanimous approval.

Robin will send a copy of the audit findings to Cathy Brooks at CAFSC.

Ed Royce offered a big thank you to Christine Hancock and Sharon Rooney for their diligence and time preparing needed data for the audit. Unanimous thanks from the Board!

Christine will determine how the new CAFSC electronic deposit process works, specifically how we will be notified when grant funds are deposited.

Christine reports her findings regarding the new Alliant Insurance Blanket Accident Program coverage affording accidental injury coverage for our volunteers while donating their time. Currently we are paying $310 annually for $15,000.00 coverage. Options now offered are: #1 - $200 annual premium for $200,000.00 coverage and #2 - $350 annual premium for $450,000.00 coverage. (These options cover categories of Accidental Death, Accidental Dismemberment and Excess Accident medical Expense.)

Discussion raised the question as to how does the above options differ from our current Liability/Property/Accident coverage? Also, Lloyd asked if there was any overlap between these new options versus our existing policy? Christine will check with Sharon Rooney and Allianz Insurance Group on these questions.

No changes to the agenda.


Lloyd reiterated the need for new people to serve on the Board of Directors. Nominations will be offered at the November meeting. Nominations will be voted on January 2010. At that point the Board will elect officers. Successes thus far new Board Members are: Sharon Rooney, John Henry Strathmann, Gordon Ehman and Jenny Hanley. Kudos to Lloyd and Barbara for their recruiting efforts and a big thank you to these folks for their willingness to serve.

GRANTS: No Board action required.

FUNDRAISING: No Board action required.

CHIPPER DAYS: No Board action required.

SPEAKERS BUREAU: No Board action required.

WEBSITE: Ed monitored the “hits” on our various website FSC links with the following comparisons for 7/l9/09 – 8/l9/09 and 8/l9/09 – 9/16/09:

· Home page: 47 versus 64

· News: 29 versus 38*

· Fire Safe Home: 14 versus 15

· Chipper Days: 17 versus 14

· Speakers Bureau: 9 versus 8

· Calendar: 49 versus 24*

· Projects: 20 versus 20

· About Us: 17 versus 21

· Minutes: 47 versus 22*

· Honor roll: 23 versus 22

· Photos: 16 versus 13

*Pages that are updated monthly, more or less.

Based on concerns regarding website costs, Ed proposed: 1) to continue to monitor usage, 2) hold off updating the calendar until we have one that includes 2010 events and then update it only every two or three months, 3) hold off posting the latest minutes and news articles for at least another month and 4) do no other revisions until at least some time next winter (by then the “projects” page will definitely need to be updated to include the 2010 projects.) At the moment the site is up to date, so these measures should not be a significant reduction its quality.

Robin suggested we might offer the minutes upon request. Ed will include Robin’s email address for this purpose if it is decided this is the best alternative.

John-Henry inquired as to FSC linkage to local Realtor’s websites? Robin will inquire about this.

Ed asks the question “do we want to continue with the annual $900.00 website cost?” No action taken at this time.

EDUCATION: No Board action required.


Based on CAFSC requirements for all FSCs’ to have a conflict of interest policy, Lloyd obtained a CAFSC “boiler-plate” policy for KRVFSC Board consideration. While Ed felt it was lengthy, no one objected to the adoption of this policy. Ed Royce moved for adoption of this policy. Robin Wyatt-Little – second. Unanimous approval. Lloyd suggested that Robin send the policy via email with the corrected date of adoption, to all Board members who will sign* and return to Robin. It was decided that that the signed copies will be held by President Lloyd Smith. *BOARD MEMBERS ARE REMINDED TO SIGN THEIR NAME AND THEN PRINT THEIR NAME ON THE APPROPRIATE LINES.

OLD BUSINESS: Robin determined that the Greenhorn Mountain POAs’ newsletter is distributed in January. Penny Lampkins, who composes and sends the newsletter said that if special issues/news items come up during the year, she will periodically, send notices out via email.


· Change Conflict of Interest policy date & signature line – Robin

· Mail Conflict of Interest policy to Board members – Robin

· Research Realtor’s website link for FSC – Robin

· Continue monitoring of website hits/possible changes – Ed

· Determine any overlap w/ insurance policies – Christine

· Research electronic deposit process from CAFSC - Christine

· Send copy of audit report letter to CAFSC – Robin

· Seek additional people for Board nominations – EVERYONE

· Research KC Fair information – Robin

Meeting adjourned at 9:30AM

Stakeholders Meeting
Thursday, September 17th, 2009


Additional attendees: Ruth Ellison, Kim Cuevas, Sean Shea, Lonnie Blank, Dr. Donna Miranda-Begay, Betsy Johnson, Bertha Eller and Sherri Click AND Jim Yearwood.

Lloyd Smith convened the meeting at 9:40AM. Introductions were made.

PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS: Lloyd reminded those attending that the KRV FSC Collaborative meeting will follow the October FSC meeting. There will be a break for lunch, reconvening at 1:00PM at the Forest Service Log Cabin conference room.


October 8th – Exchange Club – Paradise Cove Restaurant – Noon – Lloyd Smith

ATTENDANCE LIST UPDATES: To be sent via email.


Grants: Patrick Pontes’ grant status update report:

Piute Meadows Community Roadside Brushing and Chipping Project – The project is about the same as last month. It’s about 90% complete and the remainder is minor widening on several sections of the roadway. Patrick requested the final funds for this project (again) and we are still waiting for the final payment. We need ONE chipper day event on this project to meet our grant requirement. *

* Richard Grove reports 7 residents have signed up for a chipper day. Tom Parkin will work with Richard on the scheduling.

Pala Shaded Fuelbreak – The project is really moving along and the crew has completed about 26 acres or 75% of the project. The view from Highway 155 (Evans Road) is excellent and you can see where the crew is doing the work. We need ONE more chipper day event for this project. * We have received full funding for the project. The quarterly reporting was submitted to the State by the due-date. * Lonnie Blank reports the residents won’t be scheduling a chipper day during the remainder of 2009. Derrick Davis said there will be a chipper event at Alta Sierra, which will fulfill this grant requirement.

Bodfish Canyon Phase 11 Fuelbreak Project – Kern Fire has completed about 90% of the project (approximately 29 acres) and it is looking great. We need to complete TWO chipper day events to meet our requirements with the State. * We have received full funding for the project. The quarterly report was submitted to the State by the due-date. *Ed Royce will clarify the chipper day requirements with Patrick.

2010 Grant Projects: Bodfish 111 Fuel Reduction Project & Burma Interagency Extension - We are still waiting to receive the Sub-Award Letters from the State. When received, the FSC needs to make copies for the file and send the originals so I (Patrick) can sign and return them to the State. The receipt date (at the State office) begins our Quarterly Reporting period.

CAFSC UPDATE: KRVFSC has the State’s version of a Conflict of Interest Policy. Hopefully at today’s meeting the Board will adopt a Policy.

Signed: Patrick G. Pontes, KRV FSC Grants Administrator

FUNDRAISING: Total fundraising for 2009 - $2,494.18

CHIPPER DAYS: None scheduled at this time. Tom Parkin is working on the scheduling.

Derrick Davis, KCFD suggested that with year-round crew availability it might make sense to designate a specific month for various areas within the KRV FSC area of influence. Example: Bodfish – January, Squirrel Valley – February, etc.

Those present felt this idea had merit. To be developed further.

SPEAKERS BUREAU: Robin reports that the Piute Meadows POA welcomed Tom Parkin, Barbara Likens and Robin. A brief introductory presentation was made and educational materials were distributed. Tom gave an excellent overview of how chipper day events work. Residents were enthusiastic and as a follow-up Richard Grove will be sending out letters to all POA residents re a chipper day event. This is in addition to the seven residents already signed up.

No firm arrangements for KC Fair as yet.

Lloyd will present a KRVFSC update program to the KRV Exchange club on October 8th at the paradise Cove Restaurant, noon. Robin will contact the Exchange Club Program Chair to schedule a Home Ignition Zone program.

PUBLICITY: Robin reports that Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks office contacted the Kern Valley Sun for permission to use our August 19th KVSun article about the Lake Isabella-Bodfish POA Home Ignition Zone program.

Supervisor Parks intended to include our article in her newsletter mailing for residents in high fire risk areas of her district. Permission was given.

The Fence Post article about the Piute Meadows Roadside Brushing Grant Project was published in the September issue.

WEBSITE: Please see comments in the Board Meeting minutes.

EDUCATION: The FSC roadside signs will be rotated in November.


KCFD: Derrick reports that the Greenhorn Park project looks good. KCFD crews have also cleared an approximate 3000’ long perimeter clearing on the west side of Alta Sierra, refreshing the existing fuelbreak.

Mike Heffner and Derrick Davis offered a proposal to deal with residents in the KRV who are unable to clear their property. They envision a process whereby these properties can be cleared utilizing Camp Owen wards who will be supervised by both CEO staff and KCFD personnel. This would be a no-cost service to the elderly and/or disabled residents who do not have the physical nor financial means to do this themselves. This process would require an identification of those needing this service as well as a license-to-enter/privacy release. It may be necessary for County Counsel to weigh in on this. One idea was that before KCFD cites a resident for non-compliance, they can try to determine if that resident is incapable of doing the needed clearing.

Discussion followed which included Gordon Hancock suggesting Salvation Army assisting with the identification of those qualifying for assistance as they have a grant in place which has an identification process in progress. Robin suggested the Meals On Wheels program as a conduit for identifying properties in need of clearing.

After much discussion Lloyd asked for a committee chair to look into this. John-Henry volunteered and will work with Gordon to see what process would work.

Lloyd’s comments addressed the simplicity of the KCFD offer to do this service on a no-cost basis versus a more involved grant project. FSC participants are encouraged to submit ideas to the committee. To be continued.

Lloyd and Mike Heffner will look into the idea of an education program to raise public awareness about catalytic converters and their danger in terms of starting wildfires as witnessed on Highway 155 recently. Derrick suggested implementing a “Tip-Of-The-Week” campaign in the local newspapers, one dealing with catalytic converters and spark arresters. Robin will take this action and contact the newspapers.

FOREST SERVICE: Gene Yearwood reports all quiet at the moment.

BLM: Ruth Ellison reports the BLM 2009 seasonal crews are done. She reassured us that BLM Engines will be available and that the Hot Shot Crew is working the Station Fire. Ruth brought a good supply of Firewise Brochures for public education purposes. Ruth gave Lloyd certificates for FSC members who participated in the Home Ignition Zone Workshop.

MDRC&D: Bob Robinson reminded folks about the Native Plant Sale this weekend. Bob also talked about Bill Wilson, newly hired coordinator of the local outreach grant that will help residents with landscaping, xeriscape, irrigation, fire safe plants etc. Once insurance requirements are in place Bill will begin implementing the program.


PALA RANCHES POA– Lonnie reports the residents are very pleased with the FSC Fuelbreak project. Lonnie is trying to schedule the annual Block Party for September 26th, 5PM. She will let Robin know so the FSC can make an appearance again. Robin will let FSC Board know. Not a formal program, just individuals talking with residents in small groups. Handouts will be available.




SQUIRREL VALLEY POA - Gordon reports that residents are looking for wood chips for landscaping purposes. Also, their annual BBQ will be September 26th.


NEW TOPICS: Members of the KRV Tubatulabal Tribal Council introduced themselves. Dr. Donna Miranda-Begay, Tribal Chairwoman, gave an overview of the six tribal lands (Allotments) in the KRV. These six tribal lands are each, 163 acres in size, each belonging to an individual family with generational, tribal inheritance of the land. Actual title to the land is held in trust by the BIA for Native Americans. The KRV Allotments are: the Miranda Allotment (Fay Ranch Road) with 19 family members; Old Bill Chico Allotment (Doyle Ranch) with 3 family members; White Blanket Allotment (Highway 178) with 18 family members; Judy Weldon’s Allotment (Kelso Valley) with 7 family members; Piute Mountain Allotment (Walker Basin) with 3 family members and the Houser Allotment (Canebrake) with 23 members. Kim Cuevas (BLM) provided maps of KRV Tribal Lands.

Dr. Miranda-Begay explained the Tubatulabals wish to participate in the KRV FSC to learn about defensible space treatment of their land and how to mitigate wildfire risk.

Donna explained that the KRV Tubatulabals are a 501c3 organization attempting to be federally recognized and eligible for grant funding through the Bureau of Indian Affairs of America (BIAA.) They are classified as a “280 State that designates these tribal lands as sovereign. If federally recognized the KRV Allotments will receive funding for capital improvements such as water tanks, hydrants, electric service equipment etc. The Tribal position is to proactively protect these improvements and seeing the need for wildfire mitigation measures.

Lloyd Smith explained the KRV FSC mission to help all residents of the KRV through education, chipper day events and fuel reduction projects through grant funding from the National Fire Plan. Dr. Miranda-Begay expressed appreciation and would like to begin the education process. Robin will coordinate with Donna and others to schedule an initial FSC presentation.

An invitation was extended to the FSC to attend the monthly Tribal meetings at the Tubatulabal Language Center in Mt. Mesa, the first Saturday of each month.

Lloyd extended the same invitation to the Tubatulabal Tribal Council members. The KRV Fire Safe Council would welcome their participation.


· Schedule Piute Chipper Day – Tom & Richard

· Clarify chipper day requirements for Bodfish – Ed & Patrick

· Develop process for property clearing program – John Henry & Gordon

· Develop wildfire safety “Tips” for newspaper – Robin

· Develop education for catalytic converter/spark arresters – Lloyd & Mike

· Schedule FSC program for Tribal Council – Robin

Meeting adjourned at 11:37 AM.

October Fire Safe Council meeting to be Thursday, October 15th, 8:30 AM Board meeting. Stakeholders meeting will be 9:30 AM. Supervisor McQuiston’s conference room, KC Administration Bldg., Lake Isabella. Collaborative meeting to be at 1:00 PM, Forest Service Log Cabin conference room, Kernville.

Respectfully submitted by Robin Wyatt-Little, Secretary


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

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

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