September 2005

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General Meeting
September 15, 2005

Those present: Rich Olson, Margie Clack, Matt Pontes, Emily Diggles, Ken Stevens, Gordon Hancock, Christine Hancock, Ed Royce, Angie Yearwood, Jim Burr, Sharon Rooney, John Hayes, Robin Wyatt-Little.

Rich Olson, Chair, opened the meeting at 8:30 AM. Introductions were made. Jim Burr, Arboriculture consultant with Southern California Edison traveled from Tulare to follow up on the upcoming Fire Safe Council formation in Sequoia Crest and Visalia. Rich introduced Chief John Hayes with Kern County Fire Department.

Minutes: August 18, 2005 minutes read and motion to approve. Ed Royce - 1st. Matt Pontes - 2nd. Unanimous approval.

Treasurers' Report: Sharon Rooney.

Sharon reports an operating account balance of $1,027.61. Tehachapi Fire Safe Council grant balance is $25,000.00. Myers Canyon grant is now closed with zero funds remaining. Motion to approve. Matt Pontes - 1st. Emily Diggles - 2nd. Unanimous approval.

Grant(s) Report: Rich Olson.

l. Myers Canyon final grant report has been submitted. The Myers Canyon Community Wildfire Protection Plan is complete and a copy was presented to Emily Diggles, community activist for Myers Canyon and FSC member. Emily will use the CWPP during her FSC presentations to new residents of the area. Rich Olson volunteered to attend the next get together and help with the presentation. A copy of the CWPP was forwarded to Rob Stone of CDF, Tulare.

2. Rich reports that the KRV FSC grant application for a shaded fuel break for Hungry Gulch has been approved. This is an $85,000.00 grant award with an $11,900.00 required match. The area to be treated is approximately 40 acres. Road brushing will also be a component of this project.

3. Alta Sierra Fuel Reduction final grant report has been submitted.

4. Kennedy Meadows' CWPP grant application is still in a holding pattern. No word as yet but expected to hear when the 2005/2006 funding awards are announced.

5. Rich reports that he, Marcine and John Hughes, CDF and Forest Service representatives attended the Sequoia Crest Labor Day meeting and festivities. The SCPOA has asked the KRV FSC to act as their fiscal agents during their FSC/501c3 formation. They want to develop a CWPP to enable future grant applications for fire safe projects i.e. fuel reduction and education. CDF has stated that there are Prop 40 funds available for this group. Ed Royce opened discussion for broadening the SCPOA FSC influence to include neighboring communities at a future time.

6. Rich reports that for the first time Homeland Security in conjunction with the Assistance for Firefighters Grants Program is allowing 501c3 organizations to apply for funding to facilitate CWPP development along with funding for educational material/equipment and road signage. Basically, anything that relates to fire safe planning for 501c3 organizations. There can be 3 separate projects included in one application i.e. Sawmill/Hungry Gulch CWPP and perhaps updating/amending the KRV FSC CWPP.

7. Rich has resubmitted for the upcoming funding period, both the Plater Road Community and Rodgers Road Community fuel reduction grant applications to the Western States Forest Service Grant Managers. The previous submission for these projects ranked tenth out of the sixty-two submitted. Six were awarded.

8. Ken Stevens reports that BLM 2005/2006 grant funding for Mt Pinos/Frazier Park Fuels Crew Grant has been transferred from CDF to the California FSC. An extension for this grant has been submitted during this transfer process. KRV FSC will act as fiscal agents for this FSC until their 501c3 status is official.

Jim Burr (SCE) reports that there are plans for officer elections for the Tulare FSC. The current president is retiring effective 12/31/05. Jim requested input from this FSC as to the level of agency involvement in FSC activities. Good, supportive discussion followed.

Kern County Fire Department: Ken Stevens.

Ken reports that his letter to CA FSC regarding cost incurrence for pre-grant planning was responded to with a NO. At this time, any preplanning for upcoming grant projects that takes place prior to the signing of the final grant award paper work may not be counted toward the matching funds component of the grant. There was unanimous agreement that this is not the most efficient process and the result is repeated extension requests for grant projects because so much of the grant period is taken up with preplanning i.e. surveys, mailings, mapping, and RFP's etc. that there is not adequate time left for the actual project. These delays are counter productive because the seasonal components (weather, fire season) can also delay projects.

Forest Service: Margie Clack and Angie Yearwood.

Margie reports that the Greenhorn Ranger District has sent out the scoping letter for the proposed Alta Sierra 2 Interface Project. Following discussion and reviewing of the project boundary, it was agreed a KRV FSC letter of support would be sent to the project manager.

Angie Yearwood commented on Arson Prevention. She will network with Cindy Thill about available materials that she obtained during an arson training course last year. Ken Stevens handed out KCFD posters that list a toll-free telephone number (1-877-347-3847) to report arson information.

Discussion followed regarding fire prevention projects for the ROP class Angie is teaching at the local high school. The possibility of writing a grant for reflective, standardized house numbers for the Valley was suggested. Chief Hayes said that if he had to prioritize between house numbers and standardized street signs for KRV Streets, he'd vote for the street signs. Chief Hayes also cautioned the FSC to take into consideration funding for future maintenance of such projects. To be continued.

Property Owners Associations:

Kennedy Meadows: Ed Royce reports "all quiet."

Frontier Trail Homeowners: Robin Wyatt-Little reports "all quiet."

Lake Isabella/Bodfish: The Hancock's report "all quiet."

Myers Canyon: Emily Diggles thanked the FSC, BLM and KCFD for the completed fuels reduction grant project. She will use the CWPP for educating the neighborhoods in fire wise planning.

Rich asked for discussion regarding upcoming replacements for Marcine Hughes and Sharon Rooney. Rich asked those attending to actively gather viable candidate names to be placed on the ballot.

Next FSC meeting will be October 20th.

Rich Olson asked for motion to adjourn. Matt Pontes - 1st. Ed Royce - 2nd. Unanimous.

Meeting adjourned at 11:03 AM.

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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